There’s a fairly insane rush currently underway to launch new services in time for SXSW next week. Most of these are obviously startups hoping to hit it big at the conference and ride that success to greatness just as Twitter and Foursquare did. And then there’s another player, of an entirely different scale, looking to leverage the conference with a brand new location-based app: Ask.com.
When… → Read More
The saga continues. After informing us in September that the IAC-owned Bloglines was to be shut down permanently, Ask.com (the IAC property that operates Bloglines) has resurrected the troubled RSS feeder, the company tells TechCrunch exclusively. IAC has transferred ownership of the property to an unlikely new patron: MerchantCircle, an online marketing network for small business owners. → Read More
Online analytics company Compete has just published its ranking of the top 50 websites for September 2010, giving some insights into current visitor trends (and not absolute numbers, as the company tends to undercount traffic for most websites).
On stage today at our TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Vinod Khosla, the founder of Khosla Ventures, recalled a story from the days when he backed Excite, one of the original Internet portals. Specifically, he spoke briefly about the time they failed to acquire Google.
This story has been circulated for a while, but not many people know about it. Khosla stated it simply: Google was… → Read More
Many of us may have forgotten that Ask.com is a search engine just like Google and Bing. It seems that IAC’s Barry Diller, who owns Ask.com, seems to have no memory of Ask’s value as well. Diller sat down with Michael Arrington today at TechCrunch Disrupt, and spoke candidly about the future of Ask.com.
Says Diller, “I don’t think Ask.com is going to gain search share; everyone copied us.” He… → Read More
It’s finally happened. Bloglines,the troubled RSS feed reader owned by IAC, will officially be shut down, the company has told TechCrunch exclusively. The site has had a tumultuous history, so it’s unsurprising that IAC has finally put the platform out of its misery. Bloglines, which is actually operated by IAC Q&A property Ask.com, will be informing users of the news today and will… → Read More
An insane number of searches on the web involve people asking questions. Sometimes they’re good questions, sometimes they’re stupid questions, sometimes they’re insane questions. Just start typing something into Google beginning with the words “How” or “Why” for proof of this — the auto-suggest speaks for itself. Sadly, Google isn’t great at answering questions because they’re a search engine… → Read More
If you enjoy crossword puzzles, you are going to love Dictionary.com’s new iPhone app, Agent X Word. The app, which is $2.99 in the App Store, is the ultimate crossword solver. The new app leverages Dictionary.com’s proprietary natural-language technology and semantic search capabilities to provide an actual answer (or up to three hints if you just need a little help).
Agent X Word will provide… → Read More
We on the web are a simple folk — especially us males. We need but two things to keep us happy: Explosions and boobs. And thank God someone has finally cut through all the BS, and given us exactly what we want in one brilliant site called yes, Explosions and Boobs.
The site is actually more elaborate than it may seem at first glorious glance. If you click on either the explosion picture or the… → Read More
Ask Sponsored Listings, a division of Ask.com (itself a subsidiary to IAC) has acquired Sendori, a startup that introduced interesting advertising exchange technology about two years ago that enabled advertisers to purchase direct navigation traffic generated by top tier domain names, bypassing PPC advertising providers like Google and Yahoo when it comes to monetizing parked domains.
Sendori… → Read More
Search for Stocks on Ask’s experimental search page and you’ll get 13 advertisements and just 9 actual search results on the first page. Same for Mortgages, Cars, and thousands of other terms. For these searches, the first actual search result is 1,000 pixels down the page. Some queries, like Dogs, are a little more reasonable, with just four advertisements on the first page.
All of the major… → Read More
It’s the season for top searches, and Ask.com just doesn’t know how to play the game. To compile these, big search engines take all the top search terms for the year and promptly throw the data out. They then compile a list of terms that they think properly reflects key trends that people are looking for, occasionally looking at the actual data for guidance. We saw Yahoo’s list earlier… → Read More
Bloglines got a much needed band-aid this weekend that fixed the feed update problem that has plagued users for weeks and caused long-gone founder Mark Fletcher to write “Bloglines, please stop sucking. It’s been a couple weeks now. I don’t want to have to move to Google Reader. Sigh.”
Users who hadn’t already left Bloglines for Google Reader and other functional RSS readers are doing so now, largely because Bloglines has stopped working and the company has done absolutely nothing to communicate to users what is going on or when it might be fixed.
Who needs Jerry Seinfeld when you’ve got a pole-dancing babe? Ask.com, the search engine formerly associated with a butler named Jeeves, is running an advertisement that features a voluptuous young woman doing acrobatic moves on a stripper pole under the heading “What are the best aerobic workouts?”
The ad may tell me nothing about the site’s technology or give me any reason to use it over… → Read More
The last time I used ask.com to search for anything, the New England Patriots had a losing record. That was before Google came into its own, storing each and every one of my searches on its servers for all eternity. Now ask.com, seeing the heightened attention paid to privacy, has rolled out a new feature that will erase your searches from its servers—feel free to search “britney… → Read More
After sprucing up Ask.com earlier last summer, parent company IAC began spending $100 million this year on marketing to raise awareness of the Ask brand. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing a lot of Ask.com ads on TV lately. (And I pretty much only watch TiVo, yet they are so ubiquitous that they still catch my eye as I fast-forward through the commercials). So how is that ad… → Read More
As far as search goes, most of us probably use Google. Though lately, Ask.com may have captured a few Googlers thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign based around “the algorithm”. Now, in an effort to retain those new users and stay alive in the search-engine market, Ask is offering AskEraser. This new utility will allow searchers to remove their search results from Ask’s… → Read More
Ok, we got a copy of the actual Ask.com TV ad we mentioned earlier today and uploaded it to YouTube. This will supposedly be broadcast on TV tonight for the first time. The basic idea of the ad is a guy singing “I got what I was looking for,” with singing women in the background singing “He got what he was looking for. I guess what he was looking for was a bunch of singing women… → Read More
Update: Video is here. I can’t guarantee these are authentic, but a tipster sent us these photos of what they say is a new television campaign by Ask.com that should be showing starting tonight. This seems to be another provocative ad from Ask.com – it includes half-dressed women dancing with swords on some kind of stage. I’m not sure what, if anything, this has to do with the… → Read More
Forget the advertising campaign debacle: There is some real news about Ask.com tonight. The search engine, which is currently the fourth most used search service, is publicly re-launching tonight around 9 PM PST. You won’t see this when visiting the site: The home page and all results pages have been significantly overhauled and a ton of new features and resources have been added. The… → Read More
Since we first covered the Ask Algorithm campaign May 4, IAC has committed $100 million to expanding the Crispin, Porter + Bogusky designed “viral” campaign nation wide. The original stand alone obscure references to the algorithm have been complimented with an Ask logo on billboard advertisements, a positive step forward. However one billboard is sure to turn heads and it’s for… → Read More
James Thomas decided he didn’t like what Google was doing to him — keeping track of his browsing habits, controlling his documents, threatening his family, peeing in his alley — so he decided to dump the company completely. The result? He discovered that Google is so amazingly ubiquitous — and resource unfriendly — that his productivity increase slightly but his… → Read More
It’s Friday night in London. You’re out on the town with some friends at the local pub, drinking some beers and the call of nature beckons. Making your way to the restroom you’re confronted with advertising that tells you that 75% of online information goes through one company. On the other side of the Pond, a soccer mom makes her way along the New Jersey Turnpike, passing a sign… → Read More
I bet that you, me, and even Dupree all use Google for our web search. But when it comes to mobile phone-based searching, it’s really anyone’s game. Know why? Because I’m trying to make a call or send 300 texts within the next hour and I really don’t have time to use my phone for searching. In fact, chances are, if I actually have a WAP or Internet plan for my phone, I… → Read More
A year ago I wrote a post called “Web 2.0 Companies I Couldn’t Live Without” and listed thirteen startups whose products made a real impact in my life. Those were the products that I loved, and used every day. I enjoyed sorting through the hundreds of startups that we had written about, and picking just a handful that made a real impact on my life. It was so much fun, actually, that… → Read More
We’ve previously named Yahoo Maps the top maps application on the Internet. Tonight we’re not so sure. The new AskCity product, which combines Ask.com’s existing maps product (overhauled last February) with deep local content (information, reviews, etc.) and very good search, will make it our go to source for maps and local business information. Ask CEO Jim Lanzone gave us a… → Read More
Ask.com, which owns the most popular stand alone web based feed reader, Bloglines, has just rolled out its long awaited new blog search engine. Ask/Bloglines has been the subject of a considerable number of jokes over the last year, after promising a blog search engine last summer. The new engine should put those jokes to rest. And the company is taking the product and the launch very seriously… → Read More