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October 20, 2009

Ask Is 'Dancing on Air': “Who Wants a Deal? We Do, We Do!”

We know the economy has been down, and that’s getting folks a little ‘down’ about finding savings in these tough times.
 
Well, with Ask Deals, we’re convinced you’ll soon be celebrating, and getting ‘down’ in a different way…

What do online shoppers do when they nail a good deal online at Ask Deals?

Why they dance, of course!
 
That’s the message behind a new round of Ask advertisements hitting the airwaves, and we’re excited to share some of them below.
 
Today, what we’re most excited about is our new Ask Deals ‘microsite’ that features an interactive version of the jingle you hear in the TV spots – allowing our Ask customers to share and join in the celebration of saving money:

Ask Deals1 

How does it work?  Just go to the Ask Deals microsite and enter the name of an item in the Ask Deals search box, and then use your webcam to record yourself dancing and singing along to the Ask Deals catchy tune.

When you’re done, share the experience with your friends on Facebook. When you submit your video to the microsite, a link will be posted after you sign into Facebook to your News Feed. The posts will link your friends back to the Ask Deals microsite, so they can watch your video and create their own:

AskDeals2 

Voila! A savings star is born!

But don’t just take our word (or their word!) for it. Check out Ask Deals, conduct a search for what you’re shopping for, and you’ll see why we’re encouraging everyone to ‘Ask’ before they shop.  With Ask Deals, you get the best deals from all over the internet, all in one place.
 
With Halloween, ‘Black Friday’, and the holiday season all coming up – now is the perfect time to save early, and often! 

AskDeals3 
Click here to view the new Ask Deals advertisements

 - Jared Cluff, SVP of Marketing, Ask.com
 
P.S. – A ‘tip o’ the hat’ to the folks at Agency.com in San Francisco (a unit of Omnicom) for being a great ‘dance’ partner…

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October 13, 2009

Get Smarter on the Go with Dictionary.com’s Free Dictionary & Thesaurus Application for BlackBerry

It’s been six months since we launched our iPhone app and three million+ downloads later, we’re excited to take the next major step towards offering our unique experience to even more Smartphone users. With our new application for BlackBerry® we are expanding Dictionary.com's addressable market to a potential 65 percent of U.S.* smartphone users.

9000-ant

Our pocket English dictionary and thesaurus application is the only free dictionary and thesaurus app currently available for BlackBerry® smartphones. The app was designed to meet the specific professional needs of Blackberry®  smartphone users, so several of the features help them get essential information and answers on the go. 

In addition to providing users with more than 500,000 words, definitions and synonyms, the app features audio pronunciations, spelling suggestions, recent history and Dictionary.com’s popular Word of the Day for both English and Spanish. 

 9000-ant-01 9000-ant-02 9000-ant-03

The new app also allows users to instantly access a definition or synonym while reading or drafting an email, a feature unique to the Dictionary.com experience on BlackBerry smartphones. You can also email or SMS text any word and its definition to yourself or others right from the app.

Email-dictionary Email-dictionary-01 Email-dictionary-02

Check it out and let us know what you think! The app is available now on BlackBerry App World™ (www.blackberry.com/appworld) and http://dictionary.com/apps/blackberry.  A link to the app can be immediately delivered to your BlackBerry smartphone by texting BBAPP to 44636.  The app is currently available for the BlackBerry® Pearl™, BlackBerry® Curve™ and BlackBerry® 8800 series of smartphones, as well as the BlackBerry® Bold™ and BlackBerry® Tour™ smartphones.  If you have a BlackBerry Smartphone model that is  not yet supported, you can still access Dictionary.com through our mobile website at http://m.dictionary.com.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy!

 – The Dictionary.com Team

*Source: m:metrics, three months ending August 2009 (42% RIM, 23% Apple)

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October 06, 2009

Ask Deals: Your One-Click, One-Stop Shop for Savings is Here!

HPTO 

Consider this: a tough economy with new, record job losses. Families gathered around kitchen tables with a pencil and calculator trying to make ends meet – every week.  The fact that ‘coupons’ was the sixth most searched for term on Ask in 2008 – and that the number of queries for value-related terms shot up almost 50% so far in 2009.

And, according to comScore, nearly 60% of consumers now cite they are using coupons more often to reduce their shopping expenses – with more than half of them getting coupons from online services.

It’s a perfect recipe for a unique and timely offering like Ask Deals, which we’ve launched today on Ask.com.

To meet the need of our users – and help lift a burden – we’ve developed Ask Deals as a robust, comprehensive and user-friendly way to get coupons and deals of all kinds on the Web for this upcoming shopping season.

Ask Deals cuts through the clutter of invalid, expired, and low-value offers with a database of more than 1 million high-quality, usable offers – refreshed and updated multiple times a day

Ask Deals does many things at once:

--It serves-up all the Web’s best deals in one place. It aggregates high-quality and best-savings offers on the web for hundreds of product categories
--It injects and blends deals right into your search experience, unlike other search engines
--Using Ask’s award-winning Zoom Related Search, it gives consumers additional great discounts on the right panel, next to core search results
--It allows searchers to immediately share the savings they find with family and friends via email, Facebook, Digg, and Twitter
--By choosing the Ask Deals homepage skin, you’ll also get compelling and timely savings offers, hand-picked by the Ask Deals editorial team, right on their search homepage…and, you can also sign up for our new “Deal of the Day” email.

Here's a look at the cool social media sharing feature in AskDeals:

 Social media

  
Building on Ask’s legacy of innovation and cutting-edge technologies, Ask Deals uses proprietary “Deal Detector” technology to sift through the tens of millions of promotions, store circulars, and top online coupons & deals sites to give you one-click savings. By crawling message boards, user-generated content and blogs, we’ll find the popular savings that are moving among users at any given moment.

Ask Deals is the only search engine that actually integrates, blends and injects them right into your search results – saving you time from clicking through endless links by providing the best deals, the first time every time, front-and-center at the top of the page.

Here is the walkthrough of some of the features for this product release.

When the user intent is explicit about coupon and deals query we will blend results using our proprietary Smart Answers technology. Here's an example of a “cheap Halloween costumes” query - we show it as the #1 result on the search page.

Halloween costumes 

When the user intent is less direct, we'll inject the results in lower ordinal and give suggested links from our Deals Channel.  Here's another example: for the query “sears”, we show the Deals Channel link on the top, and the coupon and deal unit in lower ordinal.

Sears 


Sears2 

In order to further help users, we use our proprietary Zoom Related Search technology to give query suggestions. Below, see an example for the query “printable coupon", where we give Money Saving Searches for related queries on the top right panel.

Printable coupons

We hope you enjoy Ask Deals – just in time for the shopping season at the end of a tough 2009.  We’re excited about this special, seasonal vertical that will be available through the end of the year, and perhaps beyond, if our users love it. We think they will, and we look forward to your feedback.

Thanks for reading – and ‘asking’ for savings! We’re happy to deliver.

- Ankur Choksi,
Director of Search Technology, Ask.com

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October 01, 2009

Ask.com Celebrates the 25th National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Today, commemorating the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ask invites people everywhere to honor loved ones affected by breast cancer by posting a tributes on our homepage.

Our special, one-day homepage memorial is part of the Ask.com Search for the Cure® program and a way to show support to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. The homepage will continuously change throughout the day as tributes are added in honor of survivors, those living with breast cancer, and in memory of those lost to the disease.

This year, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The disease touches all of us in some way – it’s a risk every mother, sister, daughter, and wife must face. If you know anyone who has been affected by breast cancer, please go to Ask to honor them today. 

We designed the tribute to virtually bring everyone together who has been affected by the disease, because if we stand and fight together, we can make breast cancer history.

Sincerely,
The Ask.com Family

Ask_Komen

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