January 08, 2007

(Best Of 2006)3

It's a full week into the New Year and the torrent of year-end "Best Of" lists shows no sign of ebbing. Bloggers have taken it upon themselves to stave the flood by putting together "Best Of" lists of the "Best Of" lists. No dice: now the BO2 (Best-Of-Best-Of) lists are piling up to dangerous info-overload levels. Clearly, it's time for Ask.com to step in and save the day.

Thanks to Ask.com Blog & Feed Search, we've searched out and culled down to offer you this "Best Of the Best Of the Best Of" lists--or as we call it, the BO3.

"Techfluencers" (as our research department calls them) will get a kick out of The Digital Edge blog's BO list, which links to resources like Jacob Neilsen's "Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design" and Business 2.0's "Top Ten Can't-Miss Predictions for 2007!"

General-interest blog At Least One Cool Thing shares this year's Darwin Awards and 20 weirdest gadgets from The Register UK (spoiler warning: #1 is "Gupi the Robot Guinea Pig").

Bibliophiles (if you know what that word means, you're one of them) will dig Brit-born Sharon Bakar, blogging all the way from Malaysia. Her Bibliobibuli blog offers up a short but sweet page of BO 2006 book lists, including the NY Times ten best books and the 100 best from Canada's Globe and Mail.

Architecture and public space aficionados will want to check out The Spacing Wire's BO lists, especially if you live in New York, Chicago, San Francisco or Toronto.

Right-wing blog Urban Grounds offers a curious set of lists from sources like The Star and Right Wing Views, including the Top 10 Naked People on Google Earth. The naked list is surprisingly work-safe. Urban Grounds' rhetoric? Less so.

And what would this post be without BOs from music blogs & feeds, starting with Pitchfork Media's indispensable Top 50 Albums of 2006. Pitchfork also offers the top 100 songs and top 25 music videos. Jazz lovers should check out the St. Louis Jazz Notes blog's collection of BO lists, which includes picks from jazz editors at Downbeat, Billboard and The Village Voice. Suite 101's Folk Music 101 blog offers a handful of folk and rock BO lists, and Stereogum starts with a few links to BOs and lets their readers contribute the rest via comments. Blogocracy in action!

For those who look on the geekier side of life, comics industry journalist Tom Spurgeon has assembled two dozen of his peers' BO lists on his Comics Reporter blog. There's a "worst of" here as well, plus links to yet more sets of BOs. Our heads are stating to hurt.

Of course you can count on Largehearted Boy for a master list of all the music BOs, and  Fimoculous or an aggregate list of pretty much ALL the BOs out there. Oh, and there's  YesButNoButYes, which has a BO3 list like not unlike ours...making ours a BO4 list! In your face, YesButNoButYes!

Honestly, if we get any more meta, we're bound to make someone's "Best Of" list ourselves. Oh wait--we already did? Well, there you go.

--The Ask.com Team

Posted by Ask Blog Editor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

Update: RSS Smart Answers are now available on international Ask.com sites

Since the launch of our sites in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch, we do our best to make sure that many new Ask.com features make their way into our international sites as soon as possible. Recently, our Blog & Feed Search  was launched simultaneously on Ask.com US and UK as well as on our 5 other European locales.

Now, we are excited to introduce a new feature that allows users to surface feed content when searching from the main Web channel. This new feature, recently launched on Ask.com in the US, is called RSS Smart Answers, and is now available on all of our European sites.

The new RSS Smart Answers make popular UK, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch blogs accessible on the main Web search channel. From now on, you can expect to see the three latest posts of many of your favorite blogs and RSS feeds at the top of search results pages. New items appear almost instantly in the Smart Answer after the author publishes an article. Of course, you'll also find a direct link to the blog to see the entire post.

Here are some examples of popular blog searches on our European sites:

Germany: Shopblogger, Ehrensenf
UK: The Register, Slashdot
Spain: Barrapunto, Microsiervos
France: C'est moi qui l'ai fait! Pointblog
Italy: Beppe Grillo, Macchianera
Netherlands: Geenstijl, Bieslog

The first set of RSS Smart Answers, selected from the most popular blogs list of our RSS aggregator Bloglines, gathers a vast number of blogs about different subjects, sometimes serious, sometimes funny, political, technical or simply trendy. You can expect even more RSS Smart Answers that will bring the world of blogs within easy reach from Ask.com's search results page.

The International Team

ps. You can also read this post in Dutch, French, German, Italian or Spanish.

Posted by Ask.com Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Introducing RSS Smart Answers

Great news, our Smart Answers program is expanding and we're excited about it. We think you will be too.

Today, we're formally introducing RSS Smart Answers.

What are they?

Now, when you conduct a web search for many of your favorite blogs, RSS feeds, or news sites, it's likely that at the top of the web results list, you'll find the last three posts from that site’s feed. New items appear very quickly after the publisher hits the publish key. Of course, you'll also find a direct link to the blog or news source to see the entire post.

Here are just a few examples:

Search Engine Roundtable

So far, we've got a varied selection from popular political blogs like Daily Kos to tech news from Digg.

Stand by, because many more RSS Smart Answers are on the way. The initial list was selected based on the most popular feeds chosen by our users in Bloglines. Over time we’ll be adding a more comprehensive list - the possibilities for RSS Smart Answers are endless and go way beyond news and blog feeds.

Yes, of course, sometimes you need to search for blogs and feeds. Our brand new Ask Blogs & Feeds Search, which has garnered high praise from many, is the place to turn when this type of search is required. Ask Blogs & Feeds Search is available on the Ask.com site or the Bloglines site. Same database, different features. More about Ask Blogs & Feeds in this post.

Gary Price,  Director of Online Resources at Ask.com
Ryan Massie, Ask.com Product Management

Posted by Ask.com Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 01, 2006

There's Blogs (and Feeds!) In Our Search!

Blog Search on Ask.com

If you’ve spent any time in the candy aisle you are probably familiar with one of the best mash-ups in history: combining chocolate and peanut butter to get “two great tastes that taste great together"... the peanut butter cup.

Here at Ask we’ve been enjoying two great flavors separately for a while: blogs and search. Our blog connoisseurs are the Bloglines team, who have created the Web’s most popular RSS feed reader. Meanwhile, our search aficionados are the Ask Search Technology team, proprietors of ExpertRank and many cool derivatives thereof.

Well, it's finally time for a tasty collision: introducing Blog & Feed Search, which combines the rich data of Bloglines and the search technology of Ask.com. Like peanut butter and chocolate, Bloglines and Ask Search Technology compliment each other to solve some key challenges in building a great blog search engine: finding rich, diverse, and timely information published every minute on the blogosphere, without getting overwhelmed with a ton of low quality content.

ask.com homepage search toolbox

On Ask.com, you'll find the new service under the Blogs & Feeds link in the Toolbox on our homepage. Enter terms to find a wealth of information and options for getting the best of the blogosphere, including:

key Ask.com blog search features

* World-Class Results: The result of mixing ExpertRank and Bloglines data.
* Three Flavors of Relevance: Search by Date, Popularity, or Relevance (a combination   of the first two)
* Three Sorting Options: Sort by Posts, Feeds or News
* Unique Tools: Including Binoculars to preview the last 5 posts from a feed
* Open Subscription Options: Subscribe to a feed in Bloglines, Google Reader, MyYahoo, or Newsgator
* Open Posting Options: Post a link to Bloglines, Del.icio.us, Newsvine or Digg
* And more....

Meanwhile, over on Bloglines, in addition to the features on Ask.com, we've concocted some specifically for Bloglines searchers, including:

Bloglines search options

* In-line Previews: See an entire feed, including pictures and videos, directly from the results page
* More search options: Including search citations, search within your subscriptions and even Search Outside of your subscriptions
* More Info: See how many subscribers and citations a feed or post have
* And more.....

Blogs are the fastest growing source of content on the Web, and we hope our new product helps both Ask and Bloglines users to discover and manage this information more quickly than before.

Give it a try and please let us know what you think!

Ryan Massie
Kaushal Kurapati

Ask.com Product Management

Posted by Ask.com Blog | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack