In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators are there to help the community where the community is unable to do so on its own. This could be dealing with spam quickly, or dealing with abusive users, or similar. To that end, I think the primary role is to help ensure an enjoyable experience for all users of the site, regardless of experience or knowledge.
A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
I stand by my past responses and involvement here, so while my answers aren't always the accepted one, I think they're often reasonable. However, I am cognizant that newcomers may assume more of my answers as a result of the diamond and that may be out of proportion to reputation. So, that would probably alter how I responded to some questions going forward, more around taking a bit more care to ensure that the tone was more in keeping with the purpose. In some ways, I think you need to walk a little more carefully so that newcomers don't assume that the diamond means you're right.
I also agree with AJ, it would be very handy for moderators to have some way of interacting as a regular community member and not always have their vote end it. That may be a challenge to do, but something to consider.
In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
Oddly enough, I'm not convinced that it would make me more effective, it would just make me effective in a different way. On the negative side, because of the immediate effect of the vote, I would be less quick to vote on closure, edits, and the like. Arguably that provides for less influence on the character of the community and so maybe not as effective then. On the positive side, I can pitch in the lower level tasks that can't be easily shared and I can help the community in establishing and maintaining the direction it is interested in, and that makes me more effective. I sense that it balances out a bit.
How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
Fortunately, I don't think that's been a huge issue for this community, but as I noted earlier, I think the goal of moderation is to make for an enjoyable experience for the community. Ideally, you try to suggest or guide the user towards a better style in their commentary. If that's failing, you might try temporary solutions, short "cool off" ban for example, but with a clear understanding of why that was needed. If the person is outright abusive, or simply not tractable to any change, then a more permanent answer is probably needed. Of course, this has to be tempered with the experience that other members of the community are having and more permanent solutions might recommend involvement of additional moderators to weigh the pros and cons of such a user.
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I would find out their line of reasoning from them and provide my line of thought as to why that should have been left alone. There's absolutely nothing wrong with different points of view in these areas and so a healthy, positive, discussion on thinking around the community is a very good thing. In the end, I think it's important for the moderator team to be seen as a cohesive group, so if we were really, really, not seeing eye to eye on something, then I would propose to the whole moderating team to resolve.
My experience, though, is that the actions of the moderators have been typically even-handed in this community. Most of us have been interacting with each other for years now, so I don't think we're unknowns in this.
What is your general ideology regarding how moderation should be performed?
I've probably let that information out in some of my responses here (and in the past)... A moderator should be seen very little and heard even less. That does not mean that they should not participate in the regular activities of the community, but it should mean that their moderation activities are fair, reasonable, and expected when they happen. It's kind of like being a referee in a hockey game: the best keep the game running smooth without you knowing that they're doing that. Everybody notices a referee that isn't keeping it smooth and so the desired goal should be that nobody is surprised when you do need to step in.
What are your thoughts on the community-driven nature of StackExchange, and would you support continued moderation primarily by community members?
Absolutely, that's the whole value proposition of this community! I firmly believe in it and I wouldn't have participated as much or as long if I didn't think that was the case here. The essential pleasure in this community is that it is a community and you can learn from a lot of people, including some really talented and experienced people. It's a place that rewards your growth as a member and that's a big attraction.
What is your motivation for being a moderator? What makes it something you want to do? Why do you feel like photography is the right community for moderating?
My motivation is to help, that's all. I think the role is needed here and, having been a member for so long now, that I'm in a better place today to help that than I was when the site first started. I did have to think about it, though, I'll not deny that, because it's a serious responsibility and if I'm going to do it, I need to be mentally prepared to devote that time. For me, however, this is the only community that would be right for me to moderate. Sure, I sort of participate in others (I am a coder after all), but my passion is photography and it's the only community that I can say that I've had a hand in shaping.
Is there anything about Photo-SE which you would like to be significantly different from the way it is now?
No, not really. I might like to see a little more technique style questions and the like, but they're trickling in. I'm very encouraged to see rapid growth in other users of the site beyond our more traditional top 5 or so. Not that I want them to slow down at all, but it's really great to see some coming up the pipe as it were. It's quite exciting and means that there are still valuable questions and answers to be had.