Opened on November 30, 2003, just a month after the North American debut of Final Fantasy XI, The Vana'diel Lobby had one purpose: to provide server forums for people looking to make new friends on their server, in a simple, easy-to-use format.
The site is bigger and looks different, but our purpose remains the same. We continue to run a forum for each of the thirty-two Final Fantasy XI servers, and will continue to add forums as Square Enix adds more servers. We now host linkshell forums as well as FFXI journals and weblogs. And as an official PlayOnline Community Site, we attract thousands of unique visitors every month, with over 2000 registered members and over 1 million unique visitors. In addition, we also host quality guides, both from the Lobby staff and submissions by players.
In May 2005, the Lobby launched the first of its planned "Vana'diel Lobby Network" services, the Lobby White Pages, a fully-searchable character database that allows users to search -- without cost -- by name, world, linkshell, jobs, crafts, country alleigance, ranks for all missions, and comments. In June 2005, the Lobby launched MooglePass, an easy-to-use World Pass code system for finding and submitting WP codes. Lobby Express, the latest addition to the Lobby Network, provides users with a light version of the Lobby, with FFXI server status, news, and quick links to all of the Lobby Network services. The Lobby's real-time monitoring and news system for Final Fantasy XI was integrated into Lobby Express at the end of 2005.
Behind The Vana'diel Lobby is Robert J. Funches. The Lobby was maintained on his own server from its opening on November 30, 2003, to January 18, 2004; it has since been migrated to hosting services.
Robert J. Funches also authors a blog, "by Robert J. Funches" at http://www.robertjfunches.com/blog. He writes on a variety of subjects, from technology and writing to the financial markets and international relations.
The Vana'diel Lobby is one of only a few popular FFXI sites that is entirely ad-free, something that founder Robert J. Funches is adament about. The only funding that supports The Vana'diel Lobby are Amazon.com purchases through the Lobby, donations through PayPal, and the Lobby Gift Shop. Donations can be made through the link at the top, and Amazon.com purchases can be made through this link. The Lobby Gift Shop is open 24/7/365 at http://www.cafeshops.com/lobby/.
If you have a question for The Vana'diel Lobby, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.