About Missing Links
Missing Links, affectionately called "ML", was started as a hobby BBS to fit the needs of the local BBS community in Bakersfield, Ca. It was one of the few to provide a large multi-user environment where users could chat or play games online. There were other BBS's in the community that were also multi-user systems, but none had the character that Missing Links did.
ML started off on an Amiga 2000 system with just a few phone lines, but as it became successful, spun-off into a business with a subscription based user-model to provide for it's growth. The original BBS software it ran was CNet/Amiga which was very uncommon in the area, as were Amiga BBS's. This was definitely a substantial part of the success of the early BBS as it helped provide a means for adding unique features that no other BBS in the area had. ML even offered voice-mail boxes for subscribers, with the ability to download your voicemail while reading you email!
An ingenious system was put into place to allow non-paid members access to the system while keeping phone lines free for paid members. This system was called the Sacrificial Lamb, and if you were an un-paid member, you often became it's victim. The system was designed to allow as many people to participate but also be fair to all involved. This system also helped get unpaid members to become subscribers.
ML was also known to sponser local BBS meetings by providing pizza to attendees and was also known to throw raging parties. Meeting people online and then later meeting in person was not uncommon for these users. Many friendships and even marriages have been created through the BBS. It can also be said that some marriages have even been broken by it.
The overall sense of community was what really made ML successful. What was seen throughout the BBS world was especially seen on ML; people of all walks of life were meeting people they wouldn't normally have met. There was very little if any discrimination. and it did help open some people's eyes to different walks of life.