The social networking Web site Tokoni officially hit the Internet last year with attractive selling points, including its unique network of blogs and funding from alumni of online auction giant eBay.
About a year later, however, only 4,000 people were visiting the site every month, compared with Facebook's 125 million monthly visitors. For a Silicon Valley startup, such numbers usually spell trouble.
Tokoni, however, is thriving, thanks to help from an unlikely source – Republican gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
Whitman's reliance on Tokoni and at least one other former eBay colleague in her campaign provides a peek into the kind of talent she might tap as governor.
The billionaire candidate, who already has given her campaign $19 million of her own money, paid the privately held company about $940,000 for work and expenses over the first six months of the year.