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October 25, 2005

Ask España: Estamos en el aire

Read The English Version

Tras apenas ocho meses de vertiginosa existencia transoceánica, Ask España ha abandonado su fase beta y ofrece una experiencia de búsqueda única y diferenciada a los internautas españoles.

Recién anunciado en rueda de prensa en Madrid, el sitio cuenta con una sólida oferta: opciones de búsqueda en España y en español; vistas en miniatura utilizando los Prismáticos; la posibilidad de guardar y compartir páginas web e imágenes en MiAsk; sugerencias para precisar las búsquedas; canales de Noticias, Productos, Descargas y Local en colaboración con empresas líderes en cada sector; Notificador Bloglines; y la recién estrenada Barra Ask.

La ventana de búsqueda de Ask España también estará presente en algunos de los medios de comunicación más importantes del país gracias a los recientes acuerdos con los grupos Zeta y Godó y ¡Hola! La Barra Ask puede descargarse desde ahora en www.softonic.com, el portal de descargas más popular de España, y el área de descargas de Terra.

Los comentarios en prensa impresa y virtual han sido muy alentadores en todo momento (echad un vistazo a nuestro apartado de Prensa en www.es.ask.com y PcWorld, ABC o Expansion y, unidos al lanzamiento de marketing de hoy, deberían dar un empujón definitivo a un buscador que no tiene equivalente en el mercado español.

Muchas gracias a todos los usuarios que han probado el sitio en su versión beta y nos han ayudado con sus comentarios a ofrecer el mejor producto posible.

Ask España

Caption: Fragmento del mural de Nano 4814 realizado por encargo de Ask España. Ahora expuesta en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, la obra será subastada en eBay y los beneficios donados a la Fundación Chadra.

Jaime Sunen
Ask España

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Ask España: Out of Beta and Into the

Just 8 months into its vertiginous transoceanic existence, Ask España is out of beta and has brought a unique and differentiated search experience to Spanish Internet users. Check it out at www.ask.es.

Announced in press conference in Madrid, the site offers a wide variety of features to help searchers find what they are looking for faster: solid Spanish language and Spain specific search options; Binoculars to preview results; the possibility of storing and sharing web pages and images through MiAsk; related search for suggestions to refine queries; News, Local, Product and Download channels in partnership with leading providers; Bloglines Notifier; and the just released toolbar: Barra Ask.

In addition, the Ask España search box will be present in some of the most significant Spanish media thanks to recent agreements with Zeta and Godó groups and ¡Hola! The Barra Ask is also available for download in www.softonic.com, the most popular download portal in Spanish language, as well as Terra's download area.

The feedback on both printed and online media has been very positive so far (brush up your high school Spanish and take a look at our Press section on www.ask.es or check PCWorld, ABC or Expansion to get an idea) and, with today's marketing launch, should give one last push to a search engine that has no equivalent in Spain.

Thanks to everyone who tested the beta site and provided feedback to help us deliver the best possible product for our formal launch.

Ask España

Caption: Part of the mural created by Nano 4814 for Ask España. The piece is now on exhibition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The proceeds from its eBay auction will be donated to Fundación Chadra, the charity working to help get people online.

Jaime Sunen
Ask España

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October 18, 2005

Tasty Cheats

Ask Jeeves continues to go beyond the typical ho-hum search-results page. We have once again expanded coverage within popular content areas on Ask.com.

Video Games

Smart search for Halo 2 cheats

From broad overview information searches like Grand Theft Auto to the more specific like MTV Music Generator 2.0 reviews or Final Fantasy PS2 cheats, we try to get you the information faster.

Explore FAQ's, Trailers, walkthroughs and more of the latest videogames content as seen on Gamepro.com, Games.net, Gamerhelp.com, and Gametrailers.net right from our search box.

Recipes

Smart search for Halloween recipes

Whether you're looking to make some homemade Halloween treats, trying to figure out what to do with that chicken you defrosted last night or are just trying to cook something quick and easy - we have the feature for you. We've partnered with AllRecipes.com in order to provide a powerful Smart Search experience that serves up some of their most popular & highest rated recipes and delivers them right to your fingertips. In fact, I already started doing dry runs of a holiday meal in order to get over my fear of entertaining dinner guests:

* Pumpkin Pie recipes
* Thanksgiving recipes
* Turkey recipes

Come and get it.

Brendan Hallett
Ask.com Product Manager

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October 13, 2005

Bloglines "Key" New Features

Today we rolled out some new features to help you keep up with all the information that is important to you.

Hotkeys
If you prefer using your keyboard to mousing around, you'll be happy to know we've added these shortcut keys. You will find this legend at the bottom of each feed display page:

On a personal note, I must say these hotkeys rock! If you are like me and seem to get a gazillion articles in your Bloglines every day, these hotkeys are for you. I used to go through a finger stretching, huff & puff ritual before I reached for my mouse and dove in to Bloglines. No more, thanks to Bloglines' hotkeys. My absolute favorite is 'j' which allows me to jump from article to article instead of scrolling. I can now read my Bloglines in half the time, no joke!

But wait! There's more...

Unread vs. Keep As New
There's a difference between "Unread" articles and those marked "Keep as New" (subtle, but distinct), so you will now see two numbers next to your subscribed feeds in parentheses. The number to the left of the colon represents the articles you have not read/seen before, and the number on the right represents the articles you have manually kept new.

Mobile
For those who enjoy using Bloglines on the run, we've added a couple of features from Bloglines to our Mobile edition.

* First, you can now access enclosure links in blog articles, allowing you to view images or listen to your favorite podcasts from your mobile device.

* Second, you can now use the "Keep as New" option for articles you have previously read, allowing you to scroll through as many articles as you want and come back to them later.

And finally, the ginsu knives of Bloglines...

Universal Inbox
Continuing the rollout of "unique-to-me" features like weather and package tracking, we've partnered with Astrology.com to deliver daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes, and Lottery.com to bring you lottery winning numbers and jackpot values for any state in the USA.

Please let us know what you think about our new features. No need to send email, just post to your blog and our Bloglines saved searches will pick up your feedback.

Robyn DeuPree

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October 08, 2005

Any Falling Tree Can Be Heard

After my talk at Web 2.0 yesterday, I met with Reuters reporter Eric Auchard to go over some of the data from the presentation.  Eric wrote an article about it that I’ve seen pop up in Bloglines a few times this morning. 

Just to clarify a few things here:

* I agree with Mena that there are many blogs that do not have feeds.  That is why we called the post “Which Feeds Matter?” rather than “Which Blogs Matter?”  In fact, the one feed that has over 50,000 Bloglines subscribers (scientifically denoted as “Da Bomb” in the preso), Slashdot.org, is not even a blog.

* As I said in both the last post and the original one in July, I think 1.3 million feeds having at least one subscriber is a huge number of feeds – and therefore blogs -- that “matter,” especially when compared to the universe of sites that were previously thought to matter (as traditionally measured by Nielsen and Comscore).  It’s also impressive that 200,000 new feeds have gained at least one subscriber since July.

* On the other hand, no, the full universe of blogs (or other sites that publish feeds) do not “matter” as much as others.  It’s natural that, as all this new content is created, not all of it will find a regular audience.  Eric made the good point in our discussion that the blogosphere’s audience curve is following the same trends as other media, as well as Web 1.0 sites.  Thus, only 437 feeds (which contain a large number of blogs) have at least 1,000 people subscribing to them, and only 60 have 5,000 or more.   I think this is more the point Eric’s article tried to make than the fact that the rest of the blogosphere is irrelevant.

* Lastly, Eric and I discussed at length the “butterfly effect” that I believe gives any blog the ability to “matter” to other people, which makes the blogosphere different from other media.  This did not make it into his article.  If one blogger says something interesting, no matter how small his audience, that blog can reach a larger audience through other bloggers linking to it and discussing it.  This is partly what makes the blogosphere special and different from mere GeoCities homepages.  (Of course, the more interesting the post, the more likely that site will be to find subscribers if they publish a feed.)

Keep on bloggin’.

Jim Lanzone

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Deep Thoughts at Web 2.0

web_20

In July, we looked into the Bloglines data in a post called “Which Feeds Matter?” (which actually began life as “What Feeds Matter?” until Daniel left a comment correcting our grammar). Our definition of a feed that mattered, out of the millions of blogs and other sites with feeds out there, was one with at least one subscriber on Bloglines.

The answer was roughly 1.1 million feeds. The downside of that number was that “only” 1.1 million, out of perhaps 18 million blogs and other sites, had at least one subscriber. The upside, however, was that compared to ratings services like Nielsen, which rank only about 2500 sites per month, 1.1 million sites that “matter” to at least one person seems like a huge number.

Many of you asked for even more data, for example Greg from Findory asked how many feeds have 20 or more subscribers, etc. So as a follow-up to that post, we gave a High Order Bit at Web 2.0 conference yesterday called “What Matters?”

There were three parts:

  1. Which Feeds Matter? Part 2.
  2. What Matters in Search?
  3. What Matters to Searchers?

Here is a link to a copy of the presentation for those who are interested.

Some highlights:

As an update to the original post, we first saw that the number of feeds with at least one subscriber had grown over the previous 4 months from 1.1 million to 1.3 million.

chart slide 1

Next, we saw the drop-off of feeds that “matter” is significant when it comes to those with at least 20 subscribers. Jokingly, we called those feeds that “Really Matter.”

Feeds really matter

At 1000 or more subscribers, we saw that there were only 437 feeds. We gave those a more scientific term to describe their level of mattering.

Sweet = Term for scientific significance

Given our Web 2.0 host John Battelle’s recent bestseller The Search, we thought it would also be appropriate to look into “what matters in search.” For example, at Ask Jeeves, like other major search engines, we have grown our search index to billions of documents, and we believe that comprehensiveness – or more specifically, what we call internally “completeness” to signify that we want more pages that matter, rather than mere index growth – is one important ingredient to delivering relevant results. Across billions of searches per year, however, it is interesting to see that the average searcher rarely accesses this data. A mere 350,000 documents in our index receive 25% of all clicks into our engine in one year. A mere 6 million account for 50%.

Search index usage

On the revenue side, there was some interesting dialogue in the blogosphere earlier this year, with many assuming that search engines are raking it in due to their newfound ability to monetize the Long Tail of searches. Yesterday we showed that while the Long Tail certainly is valuable for advertisers and contributes to the overall value in search marketplaces like AdWords or our new Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings, the majority of revenue in search is still made in popular searches rather than the Tail. In fact, over 70% of search revenue is made on just 30% of the searches. This shows both the stiff competition that exists for popular keywords and the upside that still exists for paid search as that competition spreads to the tail.

Long tail of search: revenue

We’ll continue to post interesting data about blogs and search as time goes on.

Jim Lanzone

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October 03, 2005

RustyWife

The Future Mr. & Mrs. RustyBrick

It's not everyday that someone comes up with an original marriage proposal idea. Congratulations to the future Mr. & Mrs. RustyBrick - thank you for letting us share this special moment with you. We wish you both many years of wedded bliss.

Steve Orr

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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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