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August 22, 2005

So Many Smart Answers, So Little Time

Things have been busy around here at Ask Jeeves. We've been quietly upgrading our Smart Answer platform and have managed to really crank out a ton of useful feature additions around popular search requests. For those of you who don't know what Smart Answers are, in a nutshell: they are contextual search units that provide users with direct access to relevant information, search features & deep-linked web resources. I believe the technical term for this product is "neat-o" or a variation on the theme...

Bears on ask.com

I was supposed to list out a few example search terms to illustrate the new types of Smart Answers that we've deployed but I think that's kind of boring so instead -- here's a few topical paragraphs that should have the same effect.

Ahem...here we go:

I wonder why they chose Dave Navarro to be the host of Rock Star INXS... I mean he's not even from Australia, he was born in Santa Monica... And how does he get up on that platform so quickly after Brooke Burke introduces the band? Does he leap up like some kind of monkey or kangaroo?

Some people would much rather watch a new season of The OC than watch or even visit Laguna Beach. Others - not so much. I wonder if they could ever get people to watch a show set in the capital of Idaho...

Fact: People more commonly search for cookie and cake recipes instead of healthy or low-carb recipes. Even with all of the emphasis on nutrition and the unveiling of the new food pyramid this year? Discuss.

I was proud that I just got done reading 0439784549 so quickly until I realized it was a book for children... then I felt sad.

It's official. Planets are cool. I mean, take Mars for example. It's a good distance from the sun so it's bound to be chilly there.

San Andreas on PS2 is a bit more popular than Halo 2 on XBox.

I am not sure I get the NASCAR phenomenon, but I sure do like the name Subway 500.

It's probably not an unfair stereotype to say that people who live in the 310 and the 213 like to give people who live in the 818 a hard time socially...

Periodic Table. Remember that? No? Come on. Quick! Is there such a thing as Californium? Hmm? The atomic symbol for Krypton is..... Too slow! Here's the last one, it's simple - the atomic number of Thulium... You're not even trying are you?

A good question that probably has a boring answer: How can the most wealthy country in the world have such a huge deficit?

If you don't like today's horoscope - look at yesterday's or tomorrow's and go with what works... if you dare. Just don't try this with your couple's love horoscope. You can get really screwed up that way.

Rating These United States

Best Mottos: Rhode Island loses out to New Hampshire

Best Flower: New Mexico Worst Flower: Montana

Coolest Looking Flag: Arizona

Most Obvious State Song Choice: Oklahoma



Steve Orr

Knowledge Engineering Manager


A New Smart Answer cheat sheet for those of you who are opposed to hyperlinks:

World Nations: Quick Facts

US States: Quick Facts

Mammals: You know, not humans though our Famous People units cover them

Popular TV Shows information

Famous People: Music profiles

Video Games: All major titles plus platform

NASCAR: Races & Drivers

ISBN Search

Periodic Table of Elements

US Area Code lookup

Planets: Quick Facts

Special Search Toolbar feature support

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August 10, 2005

A Really Great Show

Thanks to the 400+ who swung by the Ask Jeeves SES party on Monday night.  The Dan Band didn't disappoint.  Lots of hits, from Abba to Bonnie Tyler.  Dan was sometimes raunchy but always funny and in tune (and surprisingly dance-able). 

Ask Jeeves' SES Party in San Jose

Unfortunately, we didn't have an Internet connection at Studio 8, so we couldn't demo Virtual Neptune - but just for fun, you can do so now at http://neptune.ask.com.  See Gary, it really did exist!  Update: Yes, this is a joke.

Scott Grieder

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August 04, 2005

Let's Get SES Started Right

Search Engine Strategies opens next Monday, August 8, in San Jose, and continuing the tradition we began in March in New York, Ask Jeeves is throwing an opening night bash.

Last March in New York we held a little invite-only soirée at a club in the meat packing district.  Those who braved the blizzard enjoyed food, drink, DJ, go-go dancers, and the highlight - a special appearance by the one and only William Hung

This time we're stepping it up a notch.  First off, every SES attendee is invited.  Secondly, while there will be plenty of cocktails, food and dancing, we will also have a real band with actual musical instruments.   

The Dan Band

Of course, it's not just any band: it's The Dan Band, up from LA, who you may have seen in the movies Old School and Starsky & Hutch, or maybe on Letterman.  You've never heard "Total Eclipse of the Heart" until you've heard it sung by Dan. 

Lastly, we will be giving demos of our latest creation, Virtual Neptune, which we'll be debuting at the party. 

The club is just a couple blocks from the conference, so come by starting at 8pm for food and drinks.   All you need to do is to show your conference badge at the door.   DJ will be spinning until The Dan Band takes the stage around 10 PM.   

Kick Off Event Details:

Where:  Studio 8 | 8 South First Street  San Jose, CA  | View map
When: 8pm-12am, Monday August 8
What:  Free Food, Free Drinks, Free Dan Band

See you there!

Jacquie Harrison

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August 02, 2005

NKOTB = AJSL

Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings

Yep, the rumors are true. Over the last year, Ask Jeeves has been preparing to launch a new PPC product, and this week we formally announced the result of those efforts: Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings.

You may be familiar with Ask Jeeves previous pay-per-click advertising product, Premier Listings, which dated back to early 2002. While Premier Listings offered premium placement on Ask Jeeves, the product had a number of downsides which prevented it from scaling, including the fact that it offered only one listing per keyword and required a quarterly purchase commitment.

Our Premier Listings advertisers consistently asked for simpler tools as well as actionable information to allow larger campaigns to be setup and optimized. At the same time, they wanted standardization, allowing a shorter learning curve and more compatibility with other sponsored listing systems.

Enter Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings.

Leveraging an automated open-bidding system, Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings enables advertisers to more effectively purchase, manage and optimize campaigns on Ask Jeeves and our syndication network. This new product will open up advertising inventory on Ask Jeeves to a much broader base of search advertisers.

Some of the key benefits include:

• Premium placement on Ask Jeeves and its syndication network (only a 13% average audience duplication between Ask Jeeves and other major search engines)
• Low spend minimum that enables both large and small advertisers to purchase search advertising via a self-service system
• Increased visibility into campaign performance
• Advertisers can launch a new campaign in 1-2 hours

The system is available for existing Ask Jeeves customers with general availability slated for Aug 15.

In related news, we also announced the formation of IAC Advertising Solutions, a new division formed by the integration of IAC Partner Marketing (the advertising and integrated marketing solutions group of IAC) with AJinteractive (the advertising solutions and sales division of Ask Jeeves). IAC Advertising Solutions will provide a one-stop-shop for search, media and performance advertising products across the IAC network.

It’s been a long road and we’re very excited about these improvements. Let us know if you have questions about Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings or any of the IAC Advertising Solutions products.

James Speer
Vice President of Marketing and Products for IAC Advertising Solutions

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August 01, 2005

MyJeeves 1.2 Feature List

A number of people have let us know they'd like us to list the full set of features in MyJeeves 1.2.   We have listened to what MyJeeves users are asking for, and the list below contains the most important new features for our users eg. picture saving and uploading.  Also to clear up a couple of points - MyJeeves was the first personalized search product from a major search engine, and we continue to have our own vision for how it develops, largely driven by features and functionality that are useful to our users.

WEB RELATED:
- 2 new bookmarklets (save and save with notes)
- web site snapshot in edit mode
- Add a web page by URL

TAG RELATED:
- tagging for web pages
- tagging for images
- display tag in result page
- favorite tag in left nav, with number of items attached
- tag editing page, with number of items attached
- tag renaming
- tag filtering page (search all items for a particular item) from
either left nav of item views
- smart tag entry field with tag suggestion drop down

PHOTO RELATED:
- Upload from desktop using a form
- Batch upload and tagging
- Upload by email / from mobile
- Image bookmarklet with web page image parsing feature
- Add image by URL

Be sure to let us know what else you'd like to see.

Daniel Read

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Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of IAC Search & Media and may not have been reviewed in advance.

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