Jaxtr - Beware the Dark Side

December 20th, 2006 | Categories: VOIP, off topic, social media, widgets

Jaxtr logoMuch hype has surfaced around a new Valley start-up named Jaxtr. The buzz began after LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke jumped shipped to become CEO of Jaxtr. Why all the hype? Why all the fuss? Well, if Jaxtr were a cake, then we’d need to mix a little bit of VOIP with a little bit of widget to achieve this delicate offering. Think of it as Jajah meets embedding.

Jaxtr allows you to receive incoming phone calls by embedding a widget within your profile on a given social network (MySpace, hi5, Friendster, and so on). The process works as follows:

  1. Joe visits your profile.
  2. He enters his phone number.
  3. He then receives a call.
  4. After Joe picks up, you receive a call.
  5. You pick up.
  6. You chat with Joe about your love for poetry and gardening for hours.

It does sound strikingly similar to Jajah, doesn’t it?

A couple of points to note:

  • Jaxtr provides the ability to receive voicemail if you are not present for a call.
  • You are able to block unwanted callers and/or provide the ability for only certain friends to call.
  • Caller phone numbers are never revealed.
  • A link in an e-mail signature can be used in place of the widget.

Revenues will be generated via enhanced features and advertising.

I definitely think that this company has a good thing going. However, I often enjoy stepping over the fence and playing devil’s advocate. In this case, I think that a lot of bloggers and PR juggernauts have overlooked a crucial element. Let me present my case, your Honour…

A Jaxtr call is essentially an anonymous call from anyone viewing a social network profile to the profiled user. Now, if I’m not mistaken, a majority of social networks are tailored around the teenage demographic. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now all of a sudden, you get a small percentage of sick, perverted individuals calling up 15 year old girls with ill intentions. Albeit this is definitely a minority crowd, the predicament is still present at all times. The only prevailing force is parental intervention (this is assuming that prevention was absent in the first place; hence the teenager roaming the social network). However, if the teenager is home alone, who knows where this simple, innocent conversation may lead and what kind of details the caller may be able to extract.

This level of voice communication is really the first of its kind to expand the social networking horizon. If parents thought they had problems with their children posting personal information and contact details before, Jaxtr is going to provide a whole new world of challenges.

I’m not trying to bash this offering, but simply provide an analysis from an alternative point-of-view. I will be the first to praise the company if it is able to implement preventative measures to overcome this hurdle, although I’m not convinced it can be done without hampering the user experience. I’m afraid that for some, Jaxtr will equal jail.

All it takes is one malevolent call for this to turn into a PR nightmare.

I nervously await the public launch…


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Jaxtr - receive phone calls on your blog

    A nice idea, but read the great commentary on MappingTheWeb.com before you jump.

  2. Mapping The Web » Jaxtr May Be BETA Than You Think Says:

    […] If you aren’t familiar with the company and/or don’t know what they do, you can read my initial post on Jaxtr. Essentially, the start-up has created a widget that users can embed in their social network profile or blog. This widget gives the viewer of the profile the ability to call the user via a phone using VOIP. […]

  3. Call Me Now… with Jaxtr Says:

    […] I’ve already profiled the company twice: Jaxtr - Beware the Dark Side and Jaxtr May Be BETA Than You Think. […]

  4. its funny u mention protecting the youth aspect, i just sug. to yahoo answer that young attendees should be reminded that many diff. ages attend forums so youth should stay alert and on subject of their inquiry. Says:


  5. Library clips :: Roundup: Jaxter, bubbl.us, Imagini Friends, buddystumbler, Serph :: January :: 2007 Says:

    […] Jaxter - a widget for your blog, webpage, startpage, etc…where someone can phone you (VOIP) or leave a message…see more. […]

  6. Anita Says:

    If anonymity is the key - Craigsnumber is far simpler!
    No downloads, no security risks with embedded code in your profile/website ..

    Just call (415) 234-5678 to get a craigsnumber, or visit their website at: http://www.craigsnumber.com

    Simple is good.

  7. Chatty Cathy Says:

    If jaxtr, jangl, or craigsnumber would have thought about this dark side they would have implemented following:

    1. Ratings for members,
    2. Hear member’s greetings before contacting
    3. Selecting your own times to receive calls, and
    4. Connect by invitation only.

    I am glad ccube.com - the mobile social network for the rest of us did!

  8. Barry Olufe Says:

    Doesn’t anybody read their agreement! They have you agree to them charging from time to time AND even if you cancel membership the agreement is still in force. So, you could be paying forever without being a member.

  9. Ravi Says:

    With the amount of complexity and several problems i feel SKYPE is a better choice , hands down .

    SKYPE has better quality good CUSTOMER SERVICE ,JAXTR - one of the worst customer service i had ever seen , multiple e-mail go un attnded for weeks together .Only disadvange of SKYPE is you need HEADSET .Otherwise JAXTR is nowhere near even in quality of the call

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