Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jangl in The Washington Post

Sunday edition, story starts on page 1.

The author, Sara Goo, was a total pro throughout the whole process. She was upfront about the story subject, responsive to calls and emails, and was clean and fair about the whole deal. Sara was intent on writing a well-rounded story about privacy and dating, and she did exactly that.

There are also other companies like Jangl, a start-up that offers free temporary phone numbers for eBay customers and dating singles who, at least initially, might want to keep their real phone numbers to themselves. Another company, Tossable Digits, offers a similar service for a fee.

Since November, has gotten more than 500,000 members to test its MatchTalk feature, which uses Jangl's technology. The service asks for members to enter their phone numbers into the Web site, which generates a phone number that can be used to make calls between the two dating prospects without disclosing their actual numbers. The service is temporary: A couple can give up the temporary number if they get serious or if they call it quits.

"We're excited by the take-up," said Jane Thompson, senior vice president of in North America, which plans to soon charge $6.99 a month for the service. It allows users "to screen people and remain anonymous, yet still get another data point on someone's personality," she said.

Yes, we're's service, and yes, we make sense for all daters and online socializers of all types (think MySpace, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Friendster, Spark, True), as well as commerce sites (eBay, yes, but Craig's List and more, too).

I'm not entirely sure why eBay was called out so clearly in this story, but so be it. Sara wrote a story that I'd read even if I didn't work here.

More at The Washington Post (registration required).

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