Digital skills/gig economy community for Africa

Hi there all (not sure if this should be in ‘Support’ or ‘Community’ - sorry)

I came across Discourse in the last couple of weeks - thanks for creating something rad.

So I’m looking for some help. South Africa, where I live (and the continent, and every other 3rd world country) has a massive problem with unemployment. I would like to start a community that enables people to learn digital skills (photography, design etc) by curating the best available free content (YouTube vids, free courses, blogs etc). The informal sector is huge here, and access to the digital gig economy will be big for us in future. With smartphones becoming ubiquitous and more and faster internet access every day, I feel like people just need a single place to find all the best free info (skills, free tools, informal mentorship, UpWork, Fiverr, Patreron info and training etc) and they will be able to access opportunities they couldn’t before.

So I’m looking for feedback on any of the following:

  • Getting Discourse going: What is the best option? Integrating Discourse into a WP site on a domain I own? How many other options are there?

  • Community information structure: how do I carve up the content? Have an area for photography with topics like theory, beginner skills, tools and the like? Or is there a better way to structure the forum? What are the options for community structure?

  • Content curation: As I understand it, broadly speaking, the best/most helpful content (based on likes, not up-voting or down-voting like Reddit) will be the most visible. Is this right?

  • Alpha/Beta testing: Can I run a closed group to test the above structure somehow, before opening it up? I see there is only a 14 day trial period, and I’m not sure I will have the right thing ready in two weeks…

  • Cost (related to above point): I am looking at registering a non-profit organisation, but that takes months (not great infrastructure in South Africa). I would like to have some results ready to show potential funding organisations, and would ideally like to have a financial commitment before going through the registration process. $100 dollars is pricey for me personally right now - is there another way to skin this cat?

Any help/thoughts/comments very much appreciated. I’m right at the beginning :slight_smile:

With thanks