New to NextCloud and have some general "usage" type questions?

Hello! I recently got NextCloud 16 up and running in a “jail” on my FreeNAS server I run at home.

I guess my hope for it was two-fold. First, I was interested in the idea of it being a “personal cloud” for my data that gets created “on the go” or needs to be accessed while out and about. The ability to auto-sync the photos I take on my iPhone with it is a BIG deal, because I don’t want to pay for more DropBox storage or Apple iCloud storage to put them there. That part seems pretty straightforward.

The second half is where I’m getting a bit more lost/confused, I guess? For years now, I’ve hosted a small FTP site (eventually using a copy of Rumpus on my Mac, which put a friendly web-based GUI on the front of it for users). I thought NextCloud would let me get rid of all of that, and just create user accounts for my friends, and then let them share access to one of several “top level” folders of content, such as my collection of service packs and update patches for machines , or with the appropriate security level, a different one containing custom sound patches created for my Korg synthesizer (allowing them to upload additional ones, as well).

It seems like the entire thing is focused on creating a set of content folders unique to each user, though – and only letting me create common/shared ones if they’re attached as external storage that they’re granted access to? If that’s the right way to do what I’m after, that’s ok. I’m just trying to get clarification.

Additionally? Is it possible to make NextCloud more like the traditional computer bulletin board system (BBS) of the 1980’s or 90’s, where you have message forums for everyone to communicate in, as well as the file section? I added the module that supports chat among users, so that adds a “community” feel to it. But I think a working message forum module would really tie it all together into a site people would visit regularly just to have discussions as well as sharing files.

You can do this with the Group Folders app.

I’m not aware of a forum app for Nextcloud. Maybe the Circles app? I haven’t used it personally.

Now, if you have a forum and wanted to add it, there is also an app to add buttons to the top bar that can imbed other pages. You could integrate an external forum like that, although it won’t technically be part of Nextcloud.

Thanks for the suggestion about the Group Folders app. That did exactly what I was looking for!

I looked at the Circles app, but it doesn’t really provide message forum capabilities. It’s more of a way for a group to do group IM chats and create shared content that’s available just to other members of a “circle” that they define.

I really like THIS message forum (Discourse) and it apparently has the ability to work side-by-side with a NextCloud installation via a single sign-on NextCloud plug-in. But I asked about all of that in a new post here, because I got in way over my head trying to get that up and running!