I did not write this guide but i found it good and it might be useful to the many admins out there !
Super Moderator Guide
By Greg Bernhardt
When building a community, one of the biggest questions you'll need to answer is this: do you need help to run it? Many times it's a very stressful decision because you'll need to give your moderators just enough power to make or break your community. To help you out, here I've answered nine questions that you're likely to face as you hire and manage moderators. I realize that there are hundreds of forum software packages, so some questions may be more relevant to your particular situation than others. Ok, let's get started!Why do you need moderators?To control your community
You can have the best-looking forum, using the latest technologies, and still easily fail. Why? Because when potential members look at your site, they'll seriously evaluate your current members. If you let members trash the forum and act like delinquents, no one will want to sign up in the future. Moderators are the support beams to your forum. They should have the power to honestly enforce your rules when you aren't around. To clean your community
Moderators can edit out obscene content posted by forum delinquents, and move off-topic posts into a more appropriate forum. Depending on what forum software you use, there will be a range of other clean-up duties you can assign them.To create the impression of a stable community
No one wants to move into a high crime neighbourhood in real life -- so why would Web users be any different? By having moderators, you show the visitor that you care enough about your forum to enlist help. The visitor will see that not only are you committed to looking after the forum, but also to looking after your moderators, and this will create the impression that the community is growing and stable.To get big posters
A funny thing usually happens when a member is promoted: they post more! If you don't trust me, visit any successful forum and view its members. You'll see the moderators are listed within the top 30 members (at least), and it's no coincidence. They feel proud and want to show off their new title around the forums, so they'll post more to get the extra recognition. They'll also feel the weight of their obligation, which will demand their presence at the forum, and will ultimately increase their posting frequency.What are the ideal traits in a moderator? Maturity
I'll admit, maturity is hard to define, and sometimes, to even recognize. Usually maturity is closely related with age, however I've met some crazy old guys and some extremely level-headed teenagers, so age can't be used as your key criteria. One thing you can do to identify a mature member is to closely evaluate how they react when faced with different forum situations. Do they get angry easily? Are their answers usually unbiased? Are they considerate of others' ideas and opinions? If you answered yes to those questions, then you might have found a mature member who'd make a good moderator.Knowledge
To me, this criteria is flexible. Depending on what you want your moderators to do, their knowledge in the subject of your site may not be necessary. However, if you have a few good candidates to choose from, this criteria should be more heavily weighted than some others. If you have a moderator that knows a thing or two about your forum topic, then your members will follow and respect that moderator -- and only good things can come from that. It will also save you time in disputes, as the moderator can argue effectively if their command is challenged, referring heavily to the forum topic, and leveraging their own knowledge.A frequent visitor
It's very important that the member already visits your forum, and establishes this as a habit. Depending on how active your forum is, you'll want someone who will be there to perform their duties frequently. After all, what is the use of having a moderator if they only visit once a week? Depending on the member and the demand in your forums for a moderator, you might start off with a more than fair requirement that your moderators visit the site 4-5 days a week. In my experience, this seems to please the member, who will, in time, actually end up visiting the forums every day.Willingness to help others
For your forum to grow, you need leaders who are willing to go the extra mile to help another member out. One way you can determine how helpful a potential moderator is, is to check their new-topic-to-reply ratio. If the member replies more often than they start a new thread, then that member probably prefers to solve other people's problems rather than create their own questions. This willingness to respond to others can have a great effect on your members: in short, they'll respect your moderator. On the other hand, if your moderator posts new questions more frequently than they answer the queries of others, he or she might be seen as not knowing the forum topic, and therefore, not able or qualified to lead.