I'll have more things to say when I have time to formulate my responses, but like every other moderator here, I do read these responses carefully and I really appreciate everything that's been said.
Two quick notes: Global moderators are global moderators, but the instances where there is a mod that is equally active in every section of the forums is actually quite rare. Most of us, even admins, have specific places they will respond to and know better than everyone else on the staff. Silphy, how many sections of the forums do you visit on a regular basis? If you're not posting in, say, the RP forums, it would be really difficult for you to judge moderator activity there, since you're not seeing much of it, if at all. (For example, I can say that regarding myself and the Club forums, since I am a member of zero clubs and usually don't go in there unless there's a report to handle). Paradoxically, though, assuming moderators are able to handle situations competently, wouldn't it be better and more efficient to have a more versatile staff than one solely made up of specialized ones who can only really moderate in 1-3 places? Obviously this situation I'm giving is idealized, but I find it interesting that people are noting lack of moderator specialization and moderators not posting outside of specific areas as places to improve on.
First of all, I haven't seen some mods do much else other than [behind the scenes things], which takes them away from the community. If staff members are not tied in with the community it's hard to understand users' concerns as well as possible.
I'll readily admit that I lurk quite a bit and don't post nearly as much as my activity would suggest. On the other hand, what kinds of moderator participation in the community are you suggesting here? Please elaborate.