These are the guidelines for DIY Drone's moderators, of which there are currently about 30, although we add them all the time (PM me if you'd like to be one). I'm posting them publicly because they also include some tips for posters, especially on what should be a blog post vs. a discussion topic and how to make blog posts effective and good-looking.
How to become a moderator? The best way is to just spend time on the site as a positive member of the community, both contributing your own ideas and helping others. Eventually I or one of the other admins will notice (we watch the leaderboards, too, although that reflects a lot of things beyond simple participation) and we'll invite you to become a moderator. People can also put up their hand and volunteer, at which point we can review their history and approve. If you accept, we'll upgrade your permissions on the site so you can do the following:
What do moderators do? They can approve/reject new member applications, approve/reject/edit blog posts, add/change tags, delete content that violates our site guidelines and ban spammers.
When should a moderator reject a membership request? Typically this is only done when there are pretty clear signs of a spammer. The most obvious is an off-topic subject in the description and link to an off-topic site. (ie, "I sell insurance and love meeting new people! Here's a link to our insurance site"). Also, if the submission has no information (or just random characters) in the required field, that can be seen as a warning sign and justification for rejecting the request.
How to moderate a blog post?
First, ensure that it's appropriate. Blog posts should be informational, and of broad interest to the community. Questions or tech support requests should be posted in the Discussion Forum instead. If someone has posted something as a blog post that should have been in the Forum, copy it and paste it into a Friend Request to the person, asking them to repost in the correct area.
Second, ensure that the post is the correct form. It should have a clear title and begin with an image or video. The image should be set to 500 pixels wide, full width. Often people will include an image or video, but not at the top of the post. If that's the case, feel free to move it to the top of their post before publishing it. This will ensure that the image shows up on the front page of the site and will encourage more people to click through (you're doing the poster a favor!).
Videos should be embedded (not just links to YouTube, forcing people to leave the site to watch). If the user is having trouble embedding video, make sure they're not using the iFrame mode in YouTube. That doesn't work with Ning. [Update: Ning can now support all YouTube embed codes.]
Also, if it's a Vimeo video, they have to use the "old embed code" to work with Ning: [Likewise, all embed codes are now supported]
Common errors include copy-and-paste formatting garbage in front of the image that prevents it from showing up on the front page of the site. If you see this, switch into HTML mode and delete this before publishing. You may also see crazy formatting issues, like huge spaces between paragraphs and funky type sizes. This is almost always due to posts being copy-and-pasted from other sites. Try to clean them up a bit before publishing.
When should a moderator ban someone? This is most often done for spamming (clearly off topic posts with links to off-topic sites). Ban on first offense--no second chances. For cases where you think a user is violating our site polices regarding personal attacks or otherwise behaving uncivilly, you should privately warn them via a PM and tell them that they can be banned if this behavior continues. Let me know if this doesn't solve the problem.