A company called jaxtr, which launches in private beta today, allows users to connect their personal phone to their digital personality.
Jaxr is a widget that users can put into their social networking sites or blogs. When someone has a jaxtr widget, it means you can call them in real-time. Jaxtr members assign a specific number to their widget.
When a caller sees that widget, they can click it and jaxtr will ask them for their own phone number. The caller’s phone will ring, and when the caller picks up, jaxtr will ring the recipient who originated the widget. If the recipient was not available, jaxtr will notify them that they have a voicemail that they can access by calling into their jaxtr service.
Fortunately, jaxtr never discloses the call recipient’s phone number so you can install a widget without ever exposing personal information. Users can also block callers or specify on a per-caller basis which callers can reach them live and which get routed to voice mail. The service is free but local phone rates apply.
With the launch of jaxtr’s beta, the company also announced that LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke has joined the company as chief executive officer.
“There is nothing less satisfying than creating a social network page or blog and not getting a response,” said Guericke. “Social networks are a catalyst for people to meet, and jaxtr ‘jacks up’ the power of networks to help users make new connections. By putting a widget on their social network page or blog, jaxtr users can hear from callers worldwide on their existing landline or mobile phone.”
I have to say, I don’t always find it unsatisfying to blog and not get a response. There are several responses to my posts that I could certainly live without. But I can see the value of phone calls within social networking – especially considering how much of a meat market MySpace can be.
To request a beta membership, visit jaxtr’s Web site, which goes live on Thursday morning.
There are lots of competitors in this space, of course. We wrote about a few of them here.