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Leveraging virtual connections

Yesterday, one of my friends said that he needed some help to find himself a part-time job in the bay area and if I know someone who could help him land this. He wants to shift base from India to the US so that he can run his start-up. The only people I know in the bay area are on Twitter. Now, given this situation, I want to explore if I can leverage these connections on the virtual world to help my friend in need. 

Now this raises a few questions which I will seek answers for by trying to help my friend in need –

  1. Do people connected via social media really connect with each other? Will they be as inclined or open to helping their connections/friends/followers as they would one of their friends whom they know personally?
  2. Do people really want to connect in the real world or are contented to just stay connected virtually?
  3. If yes, Can we create a business model out of this to make money? How can this be enabled via technology?
Maybe I will have some answers, post my bid to help my friend..  
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