A website makes you a deal: Pay $25, and they'll give you $50 worth of food at your favorite local restaurant. Sign me up, right? But wait, there's a catch: You need to convince as many of your friends as possible (and your friends' friends) to agree to this deal, because unless 100 people are interested, it's a no-go. Oh, and you have 24 hours to make this happen.
That's what people are calling "social buying"--an idea that was originally born during the dotcom boom but failed to gain traction. Now, with the help of social networks like Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word-and thanks to the dismal economy-social buying sites are gaining steam.