Moderation is the act of monitoring communication in an online community and editing/changing the tone and flow of conversations to fit within the excepted norms of a given community. Whereas facilitation is the enhancement of communication and conversation through guided interaction. One can be seen as exclusive and the other inclusive.
A community manager facilitating an online community knows when to be visible in the debate and when to lay back and let it unfold. This is a skill – that some are born with and many learn, in knowing how to get the best discussion going, new ideas germinating and conversation flowing around a topic.
Think of the online communities that you belong to – are there any standout moderators/facilitators that you’ve noticed?