What are Moderators?
Moderators are volunteers, almost always from your area, who help keep the group running smoothly.
What do they do?
They deal with messages which need approval (see Moderation) and also with queries from members.
Are moderators paid?
No. It's all free.
Really? What about the money from Advertisements?
That goes to help with running costs of the site. It doesn't go to the moderators.
Do moderators get first pick?
No. Messages to most groups aren't on moderation, so moderators don't see them any sooner than members.
For messages which are approved, then obviously moderators do see them before they go out to the group, so in theory they could reply first. In practice, this doesn't happen - any moderator who did this would be removed.
Why aren't they replying to my mail?
Remember that moderators have lives too. Patience is key. If a moderator has not responded to you within a reasonable amount of time (say, 48-72 hours), give them a try once again. Usually someone will respond to mails within a few days, if not sooner.
Can I become one?
How can I complain about my group's moderators?
It's usually best to resolve your problem with the moderators themselves. Please remember that people tend to get into arguments when using email because there's no body language to 'read', so please try to be calm and think the best of people.
Most groups have multiple moderators. Although generally moderators agree, there's some individual variation (we're just people) and sometimes it can help to speak with one of the others.
If you want to complain formally about your group's moderators, email email@example.com.