WELCOME TO RAMUH.... the forums here are... how do i say it... slow.
The red "?" next to your name just shows that you are a new character. It goes away when you hit level 7... or if it is really bothering you, then you can remove it by going to the menu (on the side of your screen), selecting configuration, global settings and then remove new adventurer status.
As for only seeing 13 people, i'm not sure how that was possible beucase usually you can stand next to the Auction hall (in south San Doria) and see 50 people in a matter of minutes... On any given night there are 2000 people on (more during prime time and weekends), so that may have just been a fluke.
As long as you aren't begging for gil, generally most people will be helpful if you explain that you are new.
Edited, Aug 6th 2008 4:55pm by wolfbaneshaile