How do I do these two thing:
How can I get my discussions to have the views area look like this:
And how can I add an add or something like this Vanilla ad here:
That is layout
In your Dashboard under Appearance > Homepage you can set the following:
We covered online users here
Ah, sorry - you asked about adding an ad not users.
That can be done with Pockets (also found in dashboard)
How do I access Pockets? I don’t see it in my Dashboard.
Pockets is in-core part of the vf package but you may need to enable it as an addon / plugin