Ok folks let me outline some of my thoughts on what moderation could look like on the site.
What I want to avoid is the sense of self empowered mods that carry themselves like some over zealous sheriff on the US old Wild West. Bans should only happen in extreme cases. And if I am being honest, being mod prolly means stepping back as a regular member that freely posts his/her opinions with complete disregard to other posters. You simply can not be the same poster as you have always been while being level headed and fair.
Anyways the process.
I think it should flow a bit like a biz procedure. I would like to have one Mod that is the "Boss Mod" I call it Community Manager. This is the only mod able to hand out bans, temp or perm. And the CM is the only one able to delete accounts. Of course the staff can do all of that, but the only Mod that can is the CM.
The other Mods should be able to remove individual posts. This action should only be taken in cases of obvious spam or obvious rules violations. Once that action is taken that Mod should instantly tag the thread for the CM when the CM logs in next. In the event that in site tools are not able to allow tagging, then the mods need to send a quick forum email to the CM detailing what happen and why they took action or why they think further action should be taken. The email should contain the date/time/reason for action/recommendation for further action and the all important link to the thread in question.
Anything done, can be undone. This is true with the Mods or the CM. As always Pat is King and his staff are his nobles.
The mods shouldn't chat with the community. Shouldn't engage them directly. Shouldn't get involved. There of course would be a code of conduct agreement a mod should accept. Deviation of that code will result in loss of Mod status. Like others have said being a mod should not be something that most folks would want to do. It is both a privilege and a responsibility. The only goal of a mod should be to have a smooth and enjoyable game site for the community to use.
I think both transparency and accountability are hugely important. To the community, the mod should almost be never seen or detected. To the Mod, there should be zero accolades the job should be done because they have the site and community best interest in mind. Having a CM sets up a way to filter issues that range from alt account whack a mole deletions to poster abuse to good old fashion spam. It keeps the shit away from Pat and his staff so they can focus on doing what they do best...delivering great content to us. The CM will also create an easier method of communication for Pat to deal with. Pat deals with the CM, and thus doesn't have to mess with the headache of managing three to five different people.
All mods should have a separate email account. This is used for emailing action taken reports. The mods keep the CM up to date on daily action, the CM emails Pat weekly reports summarizing the mod teams actions/recommendations. The CM/Mods keep emails as validation like receipts from a store purchase.
Is it a bit much?
Maybe? But my thinking is to create a system that doesn't get in the way of the users enjoying the site. One that creates an accountable trail of documentation so that actions can be referenced as needed, this should help keep waters clear and not muddy.
What ever is done, has to work. And it has to feel to most people like it isn't even there. That is why I call it a Community Manager. Because for it to work good, to be more then wild guns for hire it is a system that needs managing. Mods report to the CM, the CM reports to Pat. Pat tells CM to change something, CM has Mods implement the change. Easy flow of communication. Simple. Less chaos.
Could also be neat if the CM could organize VG247 community game contests. High score attacks something like MG with his Donkey Kong a bit back. Steam events. BF Day. CoD weekend. VG247 Forza race off. Just different things here and there that could be fun.
No system will ever be perfect. And I am sure tweaking would need to be done. This post was just a brief snapshot of where my thinking was pointed. Obviously it is fully up to Pat.
I would encourage you folks to continue to express your thoughts here pro or con. Feedback is always a good thing.