The End of the Lonely Man

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Are Webizens really the world's most social creatures? You'd think so. Here's a short list of some of the more interesting start-ups profiled at this week's TechCrunch50 and DEMOfall conferences:

  • Avego. An iPhone App Store application that combines maps, global positioning, and messaging in order to connect drivers with would-be hitchhikers. Riders pay gas money, drivers trim their costs. A rating system offers an improvement over the digital thumbs-up movement you'll find on Craigslist. Maybe.
  • Yammer. Think of Twitter for businesses and you'll get it. But should you? I'm not so sure. Maybe if you're operating in a massive company with a far-flung team it makes sense to share intelligence this way. Still, it's probably better than email.
  • PaidInterviews. Allows job seekers to customize how they're presented to employers and get paid for successful interviews. Social networking tools allow seekers to organize around common interests. Think of it as Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq: MNST  ) meets LinkedIn, suggests's Daniel Terdiman.   

Notice how social networking is core to the business model of each, as if Joe and Jane Webizen will shun hermithood forever in the quest for Web-enabled efficiency.

There's a good reason for that; social networks are incredibly popular. Facebook just passed 100 million members, and now Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) wants to do more business. News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS  ) MySpace, meanwhile, just inked a deal with Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) for its phones. Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android Market is brimming with social software.

Everyone, it seems, has a social network where they truly belong. Even lonely hitchhikers.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had positions in Nokia's and Google's shares and Google's LEAP options at the time of publication. He also hunts for the best of tech as a contributor to Motley Fool Rule Breakers, which counts Google among its core holdings. Here's how to try this market-beating service free for 30 days. Get access to all of Tim's Foolish writings here.

The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is as real as it gets in the world of disclosure policies.

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