Open source protests are composed of people with very different views of the world brought together by a single achievable idea.
In Egypt's case, that's the removal of Mubarak.
Unfortunately, as a result of this diversity of views, open source protests are messy. Nobody is formally in charge.
However, this DOESN'T mean they aren't any leaders in the protest. In fact, there are lots.
The extent that anyone is a leader in a open protest like Egypt's is based on:
- Does the leader provide ways to move the protest forward, towards completing its goal? Do they provide good innovations and great examples of what to do?
- How closely does the leader's stay to the protest's goal? If that is what they focus on, they gain stature. IF their goals begin to grow and become more detailed (ideological), they lose support.
- Do leaders coach or command? If they coach, they gain support. If they command, they lose it. If they attempt to seize control, the protest will turn on them.
What this means is that leaders can emerge in Egypt's protest. They offer the chance to break the stalemate brought on by Mubarak's survival strategy.
What should the leaders of the protest do?