Without a doubt, the most popular classified ads site on the Internet is Craigslist. The simple, utilitarian site is a shining example of how the p2p Web can work, and one of the secrets to its success is the anonymization of its users by email forwarding and masking. Many people who wouldn’t want their real email addresses published can use an anonymous, temporary @cragislist.org address to keep things private while maintaining email as a valid form of commercial communication.
Gumiyo.com is working on a very similar concept, but for phone usage. Using its oh-so-Web 2.0 classified site to buy or sell items, a seller or buyer can be hooked up via telephone by using “disposable” phone numbers. If you find something you like, you enter your phone number and a verification code and hit “Send!”. Your number is auto-magically paired with a Gumiyo number and this number is sent to the seller. When he or she calls it, it basically forwards to yours. It even works with text messaging, a neat feature.
It’s free for sellers and buyers, and compliments Gumiyo’s other advanced features, like txtmsg notifications and threaded sale discussions. The service is powered by telephony start up JAJAH, who seems to share Gumiyo’s philosophy that, in time, you won’t need a computer to buy things on the Internet.