Continuing the discussion from Addis Hackfest 2017 - tell us about yourself:
Hi @AlazarAlemayehu_295d, and welcome to the forum. We're very happy to have you here and I for one am excited about your plans and would like to know more. But first, the bad news - starting an online community is extremely difficult and doesn't just happen organically. There are many factors working against you and many online spaces competing for the attention of potential members of your community. So, you really have to have something to offer that distinguishes your community from others like facebook, reddit, stackoverflow, etc.
The first thing to do is therefore to ask yourself - why shouldn't you leverage these places with huge audiences and footprints on the web ? What makes your community different ? Secondly, you should have a good understanding of how your community will feel welcomed to your forum, by working on a strategy for community development - who will be your outreach persons, how will you promote the the forum, what need does it satisfy ? If you have good answers to all of these questions, then you will have a good case for building something new on the web for your community. But I say again - do not do this lightheartedly ! Running a platform like this is no fun and is mostly very unrewarding, whilst requiring constant attention.
Once you're sure you want to suffer and do thankless work your next question should be "what tool should I use ?". Thankfully, this is the easiest question to answer - Discourse is by far the best thing for the job. I would be more than happy to help you guys get the forum off the ground technically, since there is quite a lot of tweaking customisation that you can make to build something that is right for your community.
This is another reason why I would strongly suggest not building a new forum, but using an existing one (ie, this one). We have specifically created this forum during the project to support communities like yours, whatever it is, by giving them a place to manage themselves. We would allow you to create your own categories, define your own community managers, groups and members, and decide how you want to use this forum to reach your own goals. You can use your own language, etc.
Another aspect to think about is critical mass. This takes a very, very long time to attain and we're only just getting there now after 2 years of hard work. You cannot "clone" a community discussion site, because all of its value is in the community itself. Communities need to be nurtured and supported until they are self-sufficient and have reached a critical mass, at which point it does make sense to move them off into their own space. When that time comes, migrating the community is technically very easy (dump and import db into a new forum). Before then, by using our forum, you would be doing both your community and the ones we already have here a huge favour.
We can go much further together, I think
Let us know your thoughts here and continue the discussion.