I recently mentioned Jangl in Battle of the Js. On first look, I wasn’t overly enthused–the home page promise didn’t mesh with the user interface/support once logged in. But since then I’ve had chance to talk with the folks at Jangl to learn more about their service. They agree the user experience is something they need to improve, and are working hard to get there as we speak.
Jangl’s Tim Johnson was able to walked me through all this, so now I get it. However, he knows you can’t personally explain the concept and use to everyone. Improving the overall package to make the service clear and easy to use is part of Jangl’s planned enhancements over the next month and a half, starting with the announcement last week of a new Jangl widget for Tagged, a social networking site. Today, Jangl announced a new TypePad widget which will give TypePad bloggers and their readers anonymous phone numbers for talking, texting and exchanging voicemail on their mobile phones.
Here’s what I learned about Jangl:
It is all about connecting two people without sharing phone numbers. The two people can be bloggers, social networking junkies, or they can be “off Net” contacts. Why would you want to keep your phone number private? Well, let’s say you’re selling something on Ebay or Craigslist you don’t want to share a personal phone number. Or you have a personal profile on a social networking site and you want to connect with your fans without sharing a personal number. Or how about you are using an online dating site like Match.com and want to keep your contact number private.
There are two ways people can get an exclusive number for you. As a Jangl user, you can give out your Jangl ID or you can post a Jangl widget on a website or email. If you give your Jangl ID out at a party, for example, the person goes to Jangl.com and follows the instructions to generate a number for you. If someone clicks your Jangl widget online, the widget generates the number. Either way, people can call you on a regular landline or cell phone. You answer the call on whichever phone is attached to your Jangl account. It could be a mobile phone or an office phone, for example. You can choose to answer based on the caller’s introduction, or you can send the call to your existing voicemail system.
Because Jangl relies on the use a regular phone to make the actual calls, not a computer platform, you can receive calls from fellow bloggers visiting your Typepad site while out and about on your mobile phone. YOU don’t have to be sitting at your computer. And once the other party has generated a number for you AND specified their mobile as the phone they’ll be calling from, then they can call you from anywhere as well. That’s a pretty cool way to take your online profile with you.
The only required online part of the process is generating the phone number. Once that’s done, the computer is completely out of the picture. You can maintain a list of Jangl contacts online in your account, but that’s up to you.
Who pays? To get a Jangl ID and create an online widget of your own is free, but because the calls you make and receive are on regular mobile phone or landline networks, you pay the appropriate fees to the service provider.
Hope this helps!