Essentially this is a bit of a long process. The first thing that you need to do in order to be a moderator on this site is contribute in a strong way.
You need to have hundreds and hundreds of high quality posts. We look for people who contribute daily to the forum, who don't troll, who are helpful and can take criticism without going berzerk. We look for people who follow the rules.
After a year or so of this, we may consider you for a position as an Agent. Basically this gives you the opportunity to distinguish yourself again by helping the mods identify problem threads, problem posts and give some input into issues on the site. Agents are the eyes and ears of the moderator staff. If you continue to contribute, have posts that are consistently well articulated and in general if you continue to be a productive member of the site, Andrew may ask you to join the moderator team.
Most people assume that mods go around enforcing rules and tossing power around, but the fact of the matter is that the most important thing we do as moderators is assist members. We get lots of PM's daily asking for assistance on a variety of issues. We patrol the site looking to assist members as needed. Enforcing the rules and moving threads is only a small part of what you do as a mod. The moderators set the example for the site and are expected
to contribute in a positive manner.
Super Mods are mods with just a bit more authority to ban users, delete threads/posts throughout the site and basically assist with problems across several marker forums. People don't always agree with us on certain issues or topics but that's fine, as Andrew expects us to have to make tough calls now and then on various situations. Andrew handles promotions to this level.
From my perspective the most important factor in being a moderator is maturity. This isn't something that is really captured by age, but rather by your posts, how well you deal with criticism and people flaming you and how well you can control your emotions. Part of being a moderator is being objective and controlled when someone posts something negative or when you receive a scorching flame of a PM waiting for you in your inbox. We have several excellent mods who have been doing this since they were young. Several of us are in our 30's and 40's. I would say though that our decision making capabilities and ability to handle troublesome situations is close to the same despite any age differences.
Now, we only select mods and agents, as they're needed, on an infrequent basis. Generally speaking, we don't actively look at people who post comments like "HEY! I REALLY WANT TO BE A MOD!" or "Pick me!" as that level of over the top campaigning tends to indicate a certain amount of bravado which is the antithesis of what we need in mods.
Now...all this being said, domain knowledge about the technical aspects of markers is only one of many criteria that are used to select staff members. We also look for other attributes (tangible and intangible) with a key being maturity. We don't need people with ego/power trips and we look for people that post regularly and contribute a great deal.
If you want to be an Agent/Mod you should ask yourself a few questions...
- Are your posts "sticky" material?
- Do you flame or make trolling types of posts? (Not a good idea)
- Do you post harrassing things? (Not a good idea)
- Do you post porn or risque things? (Forget about it)
- Are you helping out the newer members and setting the example on the site?
- What are you doing to better the site?
And of course the last rule, again, is that people who generally "ask" to be mods/agents are generally disqualified from consideration. Much like santa, the staff knows who's naughty and nice.