For a whole variety of reasons, you may decide to moderate all user contributions to you community website before they are published. Perhaps you are having trouble with abusive members or spammers. Either way if you decide to moderate contributions before they appear on your site, you must ensure that you moderate as frequently and as speedily as possible, otherwise you will ‘lose the heat’.
Avoid losing the heat on your community website by moderating contributions from your visitors as quickly as possible. When users interact with your site, they want to see their contribution published immediately. Whilst many users will understand a short delay if they are posting for the first time on your site, if they are waiting hours or even days for all of their subsequent contributions to appear they will feel less valued and more likely to leave your site.
I would argue that forum posts need not be moderated before they appear ‘live’ on your community site – as long as you frequent the forums on a regular basis during the day you will be able to take speedy action on problematic posts should that be necessary. Moderating each and every forum post will only waste your time, and discourage regular contributions from your members.
Always consider your reasons for moderation before implementation. If you are only moderating to prevent spam or abuse, consider whether you can change your strategy to one where you take action as such contributions appear. It is unlikely the majority of your members will be creating unsavoury content – so don’t penalise the many in order to prevent abuse from the few.