I'm all for this topic becoming more active. As a writer, what I'm looking for in a good beta reader is an eye for detail, and for really helping me create a connection to the characters to the reader. I think this is definitely a skill and I'm enamored with other writers who are able to acheivesuch a personal link between the reader and the characters of a story. A great friend of mine seemingly has the ability to do this. I think it's a gift. I also value a beta who is able to critic my work in an "easy to digest" kind of way, if that makes sense.