Hanging online by yourself is cool. But hanging out with friends you met online is better.

A few months ago, I came across the website WhyGoSolo.com. Founded by Ann Bernard, I was fortunate enough to be a part of its alpha phase. It’s an interesting concept that I think has the potential to take Craigslist and Facebook and make something truly community-oriented.

Everyone has been so concerned with people staying online and not getting out and seeing the world. But Ann’s website combats that issue by giving people a place to stay online and then meeting up with people (in a non-romantic way) to hang out and just do stuff.  You can sign up, create your own profile page with tags to your other social sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and even include a biography about you so that people can get to know you better to help in making sure you are compatible with other folks on the site (e.g. same interests, background, hobbies, etc.).

So I started my own page and joined a bunch of groups. If you’re interested in doing something like skydiving and happen to live in the West Coast, then you can go online and chances are that you’ll find a group (or you can create one) of skydiving aficionados. Give one of them a “handshake” which is basically like making them your friend and the two of you are off on a common adventure. What makes it quite social is that WhyGoSolo.com has also introduced a rating system so other people can find out how much fun your social partner was when you went on your skydiving experience and then can join in on the fun.

WhyGoSolo.com is a cool phenomenon and I’m sure that a lot of people are going to be interested in this once word spreads. No more sitting around wondering who wants to tag along with you to check out the new indie film in the city theatre or going on a hiking trip through the Appalachian trail. You’ll never get board again and meet some great new people…well that is if you’re interested in meeting new people. The whole “trust” issue may come into play because obviously you don’t want to go meet some serial killer or anything and that is one big problem with these “let’s meet up in real life” situations.

Check out the site anyways and see if there are other folks in your area that have similar interests. Blog about your experiences, post photos, or invite your friends to join. It’s your very own event management tool in one! Happy Networking…

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.