Giving people the tools they need to share knowledge and advance open society through social software.


We are a network of people that have come together to give you the tools you need to share knowledge and advance open digital society.


Why 'Barnraiser'?

Barn logoWhen an Amish family needs a new barn their community gathers to build a barn in a single day, a tradition called barn raising. In building a barn together in a day they achieve something that no single family can do.

We share that spirit as we build for society.

  • I am very happy to announce the release of Dutch; our knowledge sharing network tool.

    We stumbled across the idea of Dutch when we were playing a few weeks ago. We were looking at a way to share snippets of knowledge quickly - an example being links to web sites and videos. The idea is simple enough; can we create a tag and comment under it to create a tagcloud of knowledge.

    Dutch gives you a simple way to make a tag (or a "network") under which you can post information and comment on other peoples information.

    We give you a notifications screen where you can see activity from both networks you are a fan of and people you want to follow.

    Dutch is free software and released under the GPL (version 3) license. Please visit the Dutch product page at for more information, downloads, case studies, guides and a technical specification.

    We want your feedback

    Forums have all sorts of tools to moderate and manage dialog. Dutch has non of these. Networks can be made by anyone and added to by anyone. The most popular networks filter up to the top naturally. Please play and resist the immediate urge to compare it to a forum:) It is a lightweight product and we want to focus on the knowledge sharing and social aspects of the tool.

    We want to know what you think of it and examples of how you would use it.

    We want to know about bugs and features that you like / dislike.

    One "feature" that is not yet fully developed is that you can plug-in URL parsers. We have one for DIGG which today is hard coded with a Barnraiser account and we have one for Youtube which is a hack and does not make use of their API. Type in a Youtube URL as a contribution and you'll see it parse that URL into a thumbnail and link. Obviously we need to make a little "parser manager" and open this up so that people can write parsers for all sorts of web services.

    Feel free to post comments, thoughts or any other feedback below.

    A big thanks to Sebastian Ă–blom and Tom Calthrop for developing Dutch.

    Enjoy free software.
  • Many people either working or volunteering for the organisation find useful snippets of information on the web. They in a moment of excitement send out an email to their colleges after which it is promptly trashed, forgotten and lost forever.

    Information harvesting is often overlooked by organisations. Finding, researching and cross checking from the web is an ongoing process. Often people involved in this share new ideas or thoughts sparked by information they harvest from the web.

    We wanted to create a tool that simplifies the catcher, retention and distribution of such information.

    We came up with Dutch; a knowledge sharing network tool. Dutch is a part of our research to re-think the way we share knowledge on the web. Our goal is to create a fluid pool of knowledge shared amongst interested people based upon them working together in gathering information from the web.

    If you are going to try it the best approach we've come up with is to gather your team and ask them which websites they like. If you are lucky as we were you get a wide variety of websites including social bookmarking, blogs and news services. Ask each member of your team to regularly post up information that they think will be of interest to the team. You should see pools of organizational relevant information form quickly.

    There is a demo available from the Dutch product page. I welcome your comments and thoughts on the tool.

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