At first, as we gained success at creating a group, we tried calling what we were doing “leading.” While ostensibly true, it never seemed to really tell the truth of what we were doing on a regular basis. Eventually, we began to call it “coordinating,” and that stuck. The Calendar QA Team is a self-selected group of individuals; they have never needed a leader in the traditional sense. They had decided to come to this project, they decided to get involved, and their loyalty was to the project, not some person who had been self-anointed through word or deed as a leader. So, once we began to think of ourselves as coordinators, the entire project began to run more smoothly. Having a volunteer community force is much like having a river at your disposal. You cannot demand that it flows in a certain direction, but if you dig a canal for it to run in, then you can entice it to follow you.
So, coordinating a project like this means there are a few principles to keep in mind:
You are not special.
You are always recruiting.
You are always engaging.
You Are Not Special
Often, when someone becomes a leader, there is a seductive quality to it. It is almost like we are children once more on the playground, directing all the other kids around us. You cannot do this in an online community. You must always be the first among equals. Everyone in the group must see you as part of that larger group, not separate from it; otherwise, they will not have any desire to be in your group. It essentially ...