Forem Creators and Builders 🌱

🌱 Forem x MLH SelfieHacks 🌱

Let’s build an independent social network on Forem

What is Forem?

If you write code, you might know about DEV — a community for software developers that enables millions of people to share their coding journeys, learn in public, inform their peers, and connect each month. DEV is open source, and the underlying code is called Forem. Forem is an engine that allows anyone to build a modern and independent social network. Forem is already powering communities dedicated to specific technical areas like Web Monetization and general interests like Fitness.

Forem is an open source project which is getting new updates constantly. Instead of building everything from scratch, we share the load and share the gains. We fix bugs and deliver delightful UX. It’s meant to get better and better over time through collaboration with people like you.

What is the challenge?

We’re challenging you to build a self-hosted Forem Community that serves any topic you like.

The challenge of self-hosting a Forem is mostly about developing your sysadmin skills, but there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in configuring the Forem, setting up custom pages, and ensuring your community is poised to be extremely useful to everyone who joins.

The winning team will be the group that builds the “Best Forem Community”. “Best” here means that your Forem is...

  • Fully online and operational
  • Configured with a great onboarding experience
  • Supported tags, useful custom pages, and hopefully a bit of momentum in the form of actual users and content.

What type of community should I build?

We encourage you to get creative here!

One great idea might be to build a college network specifically for your school. You can build a private community that requires all users to register with a valid email address, or you can build a public community that invites anyone to read what’s going on. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, your Forem data will stay entirely within the network. You’ll be able to recruit classmates, collaborators, and moderators, to build your very own space for your campus and community. We are not in the business of collecting and selling your data.

Forem is a new way to keep data in the community. No tracking, no re-targeting. You can let anyone from your campus publish posts while you develop moderation standards to fit the needs of your community and promote leaders to moderators of the community to usher in a new space for your school that is positive and valuable.

You can also build a Forem around a specific interest. Are you a fan of gardening, video games, yoga, healthy cooking, classic literature, etc.? Consider building a community to host content and constructive conversations for other folks in the community.

How do I get started?

Follow our Self-Host Readme to get up and running on your cloud of choice.

Check out these tutorials for help along the way.

Once you are up and running, follow the admin guide to get your Forem configured.

You’ll be able to set the authentication methods, supported tags, and even build fully customizable pages with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Does your Forem community need an interactive campus map? A meal points calculator? A list of FAQs? You can build out these resources for your community directly via Forem.

For additional context on Forem Self-Host, you can check out this post

What resources do I need?

The main resource you should leverage for help is our “meta Forem” community at It’s filled with other Forem builders who are eager to share advice, tips, and help you sort through any issues you might encounter.

Look forward to seeing what you create 🌱