A mocha at Awaken cafe. Photo: Bisma B on Flickr
While social network startups such as Twitter still work to figure out ways to make money, restaurants may have the answer.
Oakland's Awaken Cafe closed in September but now it is getting ready to reopen in a new location with a little help from friends.
The micro-investors model was used quite successfully by Commonwealth, whose owners built a following by serving street food and then turned to social media to raise money to find a permanent location from their fans.
Awaken is doing something similar. The cafe is using its current fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter to sell "pre-paid value accounts." For example if you give a $500 donation you will get $600 worth of credit once the cafe actually opens.