Hi Arthur - perfectly reasonable questions. I have discussed the other “alternative” sites with some locals, and the feeling seemed to be that they failed because they didn’t offer any compelling advantage, and quickly became overrun with spam (including some porn - which sounds a bit suspicious to me).
SE23.life may look simple, but the community management aspects of it are sophisticated. The site grants access to features (including moderation capabilities) automatically as members build their reputation. The flagging features allow spam to be dispatched with minimal effort. And since I’m solvent from my day job, I won’t need to fill SE23.life with adverts to make money.
This new forum is also real-time updating and mobile friendly - which is important as 75% of our users are on mobile phones and tablets.
I have plenty of experience creating websites with large communities. In my spare time I have built http://www.caption.me/ (the web’s liveliest caption competition), http://www.askatheists.com/ (#1 in Google for “atheist quotes”), http://www.streetlend.com/ (local lending) and http://www.cointouch.com/ (for finding bitcoin trading partners in your extended social network).
I love social media (and real-world) marketing, and have a healthy budget to promote the site funded by my career in financial software development.
I’m also sincere about the local community - meeting residents and local traders in person, working with them to shape the forum, and responding quickly to any questions and suggestions.
I will surprise you, I promise.