how can someone start there onw forum?

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1) Get a server with support for server-side scripting (Perl, PHP, ASP, etc.) as well as database support (MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.).

2) Find bulletin board/forum software of your choice ( is a good place to start looking).

3) Upload entire scripts to the server, and follow instructions included with the software.

4) Run the software's install script through the browser.

5) Use the software's administration panel to set up forum sections, users permissions, etc.
Yeah, it's best to start out with free boards like ikonboard [it's ok...] YaBB [not too bad...] wBB1 [a vBulletin clone and actually pretty good, v2 isn't free though.] A free hosting site that offers perl is, you get ads though. A free hosting site that offers perl and php with mySQL is, note that signups may be disabled from time to time. Hope this helps.
I don't think you can beat vBulletin for the features and the price. But if you're just trying it out to see what happens, I agree to try a free version of a forum first. :)
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