Using Metagov to define leadership roles in online communities

This post is not so much a use-case so much as a question about how Metagov can define and support “leader” roles, e.g. through a hypothetical “Roles” module—a module that, ideally, already exists elsewhere and which we can integrate rather than build ourselves.

Leadership is one of the most important components of governance, especially in a community’s early stages. It’s also the subject of an entire literature of management and self-help books. E.g.

  • Effective open-source leaders document thoroughly, sort through noise, and identify trusted collaborators.
  • Good to Great leaders make sure that they are training future leaders.
  • Unleashed leaders focus on enabling the people around them by building layers of trust, love, belonging, strategy, and culture.

A lot of these involve different ways of saying what a leader needs to do. A leader has certain responsibilities.

However, currently the only way that a digital social platform recognizes “leadership” is through roles and platforms permissions. A benevolent dictator is the de facto leader. But clearly administrators (and even moderators) are often but not always “leaders” in the community, per se. How can we (re)-design or intervene on digital platforms in order to more effectively recognize and support leaders and the typical tasks that a leader must carry out? If these tasks and skills can be tracked and measured, e.g. through OpenCollective or through PolicyKit, then can we reward those tasks and skills through SourceCred / a wallet?

A related effort: formalizing “management” as a technology within a firm:

“We present a formal model of “Management as a Technology”, and structurally estimate it using panel data to recover parameters including the depreciation rate and adjustment costs of managerial capital (both found to be larger than for tangible non-managerial capital).” -