Leaders in "Leaderless" Spaces

Jo Freeman's essay from the 1970s is maybe the guiding light for this wiki page: The Tyranny of Structurelessness

When thinking about something "leaderless," it's important to be careful about the influence we assign to the "leaders" who brought these tools to us. It's undeniable that people like Ward Cunningham, Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger etc. have had great influence on our thinking about collaboration in lightly governed, "leaderless" online spaces. But it's also true that their influence was felt only to the degree that there was a willing audience, or people who craved the ability to work in these environments. These individuals were surely "in tune" with the zeitgeist. Each has brought important insights, and the imprints of their ideas are significant and indelible.

But we should be cautious about regarding them as the final authority on what attracted people, en masse and worldwide, to web tools that permitted them to work together without, or with minimal, centralized guidance or control. What are the best ways to understand what motivates a movement? I imagine there are roles for artists, journalists, historians, cultural critics, etc.