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Find the Leaders

Context

This practice applies mostly in the context of a volunteer-based Collaborative translation initiative.

Problem description

In many collaborative peer-production communities, a large amount of the content is actually produced by a relatively small number of highly active contributors.

Finding those community leaders can be a challenge.

Solution

A big part of the secret to finding leaders, is to actually open the site to as large a population of potential contributors as possible. In other words, to find those few highly enthusiastic contributors, you may need to engage a very large crowd, and let the leaders emerge from that crowd in an "organic" fashion. For example, you may allow Anonymous Contribution in the hope that a handful of those anonymous contributors will eventually become very active leaders through Lurker to Contributor Transition.

Once that initial transition has happened, take every opportunity you can to encourage the contributor to increase his level of involvement. Find ways to motivate these emerging leaders. Leaders (either established or emerging) respond particularly well to practices like Grant Special Access Rights and Leader Board.

Keep in mind the different kinds of leadership roles that your community may need, and let people grow naturally to the ones that fits them best (i.e., support Flexible Contributor Career Path )

Links to related patterns

  • See the various practices mentioned in the above section.

Real-life examples

  • Wikipedia is a very good example of a very large community where a relatively small group of leaders are providing a significant portions of the content.

Also known as

Contributors to this page: alain_desilets , anonymous and christopherklapp .
Page last modified on Thursday August 30, 2012 12:03:26 MDT by alain_desilets.