The question of whether a Coordinator of a loop has anything to do with the size of it and/or the participation of its members is a good one. I think it really does have some effect, but it is not the sole determining factor.

A perfect example would be a recent one. We had a loop that was virtually dead and a new coordinator was appointed. The prior Coordinator would post once a week, and once in a while someone else would post ... but it was basically a dead loop. Now it is alive, and vibrant and it is thriving. Is that all because of the new Coordinator? No ... but I think it won't stay that way without the new coordinator and and their dedicated leadership.

We have two loops which are opposite examples. Both have the same coordinator; however, one is a loop where nobody posts anymore. The coordinator peppered that loop with great shares for months. We even enlisted two administrators to go in and respond to the shares, and I chimed in, too. But it was futile and the coordinator left and went to another loop and began serving there. The first loop is dead, for now, and I am there again and will keep the home fires burning til HP decides to "turn on the sharing button again."

I can only think of one loop where the sharing was steady, strong and plentiful even without a coordinator. Of course, we won't discuss what they were sharing ABOUT ... but the new coordinator has provided leadership and I think things are better now.

My final example is a special focus list we've had for a long time. Sometimes the sharing is wonderful, and there are 10-12 good solid posts each day on a topic or in general. And then it can go for months without even one post. I don't really change my style there, much. I share on a regular basis, and sometimes no one responds. It is what it is. I do notice that, on those days when the sharing is increased, and I respond to everyone's share, others will come out of lurking to add their own two cents.

A strong dedicated coordinator has a lot to do with the size of a group, and the participation of its members. The coordinator sets the tone for participation. But there is also the fact that some groups may not be destined ever to be large, as their "target audience" is not as large as others. If you have no interest in a certain special focus, you aren't gonna come there. We have a special focus list with a nebulous mission and it does not attract droves of people. I haven't seen a new member there in forever.

I believe loop growth and participation have a lot to do with HP. If it is the "Right Time" then a group will grow and thrive. If it isn't, it won't.

~ Donna
ODAT Division Chair

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