First posted on Players Assisting Player - 10/24/2004
Originally... hosts all over AOL had different "prefixes" in their names to denote they were part of a specific area.
RDI was the prefix for the FFGF (which was a part of the Online Gaming Forums, the rest of the OGF used OGF, we were special ;>)
Also at that time AOL only allowed 10 character screen names. So for an RDI with the space after, you were only allowed 6 characters for your actual name. That's why I was RDI Panthr when I was first hired. It's also why Guides had three letter names (I was Guide NEE for a number of years) and TechLive reps had just two characters (I was also TechLiveRP). RDL had to be restricted as well so you couldn't use the lower case version and cause problems as RDl Panthr, which unfoturnately happened (not to me specifically) before AOL did restrict it.
At that time, the RDI (and other prefixes) were restricted, AOL was able to control who created what name, and generally you had a small window of opprtunity to do so before it expired and that name was lost.
When longer SNs were allowed, AOL started moving towards standardizing the host names. They felt that people moving from area to area shouldn't have to guess at who was and was not an actual host for an area.
So all hosts that worked in chat rooms were given the HOST prefix followed by a space, followed by an area ID, a space, then the host's "name". The RDI is part of the Games Channel, so they are seen as HOST GAME xxxxxx. I was part of an area called the Writer's Club for awhile, and had the name HOST WRTR xxxxxx (actually, I don't even remember what my actual host name was... heh)
"hosts" who work behind the scenes, like board monitors, use the LDRS GAME xxxxx format to denote they are forum leaders I guess.
As I said earlier, I creted the SN RDI Panther (I added the E back in because I could
to see if it would work. It did, and sat idle the last few years.
Now I use it to do much of what I did when I was RDI Panthr those years ago. To help set the tone of the room, help people that seem to need it, and have some fun tending the bar.
I could easily do this, and have, as either Panther or Ashandar, but I started using the RDI name a few weeks back when the room was getting busy, and it was hard for people coming in to really tell there was someone tending the bar. Even when I would call out to them, ask for their order, etc.. they may not pick up on it because they are looking for that HOST name by default. I was hoping that putting the RDI on there would give folks a visual clue that yes, someone might be behid the bar.
Unfortunately... there is absolutely no way to keep the snerts from creating RDI type names.
Creating an RDI name (thankfully for me) is not cause in and of itself to be TOS'd. However we can, and all should continue to report those who cause room disrution, it doesn't matter if they've created an RDI name or not.