Woo You Be My Valentine? - online matchmaking services - Abstract - Brief Article.

Innovative dating service is a "Yenta thing" with a tech twist.

It's happened to all of us: It's Valentine's Day and there's no Mr. Right--or even Mr. He-Might-Do--anywhere in sight. As you watch floral delivery guys march in and out of the office all day (never once stopping at your cubicle), you wonder anew why dating is so elusive in a country with 50 million single people between 20 and 55.

Before you place another personal ad, check out Manhattan-based Webwoo ,and place yourself in the capable hands of "Woo Master" Tammy Korol (pictured).

Woo You Be My Valentine? - online matchmaking services - Abstract - Brief Article.Korol, marketing vice president for the year-old company, says Webwoo offers old-fashioned matchmaking with a twist. Neither computers nor strangers are pulling the matchmaking strings--those who know you best and care about you most are.

"We're not reinventing online dating services; we're just offering dating with references. Friends are still the No. 1 source for finding a date," Korol says. "People feel safer being introduced by friends who know what they like."

The friends-of-friends dating network, started by Elizabeth Hamburg, works like this: You can sign up your cute but socially inept brother (as a gift) and yourself (for free) as a matchmaker for him. As a matchmaker, you're not paid--you're doing this out of love, right?--but you can earn points toward quarterly gifts. (If your matchmaking skills produce a marriage, you'll get $10,000.)

If you come to the site as a dater, you can use the service free for 30 days. Then you'll pay a one-time fee of $49.99 and rally all the matchmakers you can find. The fee includes a "Woo Concierge" who will organize dates from start to finish.

Through Webwoo's animated email system, matchmakers can cast wider nets among their own friends. So, Korol says, if your 10 matchmakers sign up 10 more matchmakers, you suddenly have 100 people looking for dates for you, instead of the 10 you've been bugging. "You do the math," she says.