I think my approach to moderating is somewhat different than is typical of Slashdot moderators, and I think it has a somewhat positive effect for the community as a whole, so I thought I'd do a quick write-up...
When deciding which topic to moderate, I basically pick the first (newest) that's of interest to me. I don't horde points (basically if a could be made for modding a comment, I'll mod it), so my 5 moderator points rarely last beyond one discussion.
Basically when I moderate I browse at Min -1 (Max 1), flat, newest first. The first benefit of this is that I see ALL the messages (not just the messages the system has deemed "good" at +2), I'm not just moderating the first message in a discussion. Its better, in my opinion, to add to existing discussions rather than continually adding new ones. Unfortunately karma whores have an incentive to post at the top level, so that more people read their messages (and therefore theres a high chance a lazy moderator will bump them up).
I read "newest first" simply because these are the ones that have been read by the fewest people (so my moderation has the greatest impact for the readership, the whole point of this exercise).
Browsing at -1 gives me the chance to rescue messages that have been unfairly trashed by other moderators, or to bump up Anonymous Cowards who have something of value to say. Truth be told I've never found a -1 that I've wanted to redeem, so maybe I'll just start browsing at 0 and show a bit of faith in my fellow moderators.
Now, browsing at Max 1 is maybe the oddest part of my approach. Basically of moderating is that good messages tend to get bumped higher. Any moderators that browse at higher filters will only bumped up those messages further. My feeling is that there isn't a big difference between a 2 or a 5 (how many people are really browsing at a higher filter than 2?). Additionally moderating messages that are 1 means that I'm giving karma to new users (or users who don't post often), and helping them work up to a priviliged posting position (once their karma is excellent their comment score will initially be set at 2 instead of 1). Rather then drive the methuselah's karma higher and higher, it seems to me that we should be helping these voices to be heard.
Well, for what its worth those are my thoughts on the subject.