Many community based games nowadays has a very unorganised community. Companies seem to think assigning player moderators will solve the problem and thereby saving them some work. The thing is, this is NOT going to work... TRUST ME!
A community needs an active Community Manager at all times. Before release and after release, both as important. Although I want to point out that Moderators or/and Game Masters are something that every community should have, definetly.
The importance of Moderators
The community moderators (or game masters) are the ones who actually keeps the community live and prospering. They create awareness among the players inside the community and spreads the message that "YOU CARE".
Although the moderators needs a buddy and boss. The community manager is that person. The community manager should both act as a moderator him/herself as well as the boss for the rest of the appointed moderators.
You have the overall responsibility to make the community work. The moderators are mainly there for assistance, as long as they are not employed personell as well.
The community is your baby
Treat the community as you baby. It needs constant care and would very much like to grow up to become a big community with lots of knowledge and ambitions. Maybe even get a job! I mean, look at Little Big Planet. The community is actually the ones making the new content!
That's how you want your baby to be when it grows up.
This is my assumption: A community based game without a Community Manager is as chaotic and fragile as a baby without it's parent. What will it grow into if no one is there to guide it on its way?