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Ask.com – Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes

Ask.com – Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes

Expect Jeeves to disappear from Ask Jeeves in the next couple of months as more signs are coming that Barry Diller’s IAC is planning on a way to off the butler mascot of Ask Jeeves, Inc and rebrand into Ask.com. Barry gave the first clue when IAC purchased the Ask Jeeves network earlier in the year when speaking with Wall Street Journal columnist Kara Swisher.

Diller stated “We’re thinking about renaming it,…It probably won’t be called Ask Jeeves.” “What will it be called?” asked Kara Swisher. “Might be one of those words without the other,” Diller answered, adding that the final decision on Ask Jeeves’ new name isn’t “finalized.”

Personally, I’m not sure why but I’ve always loathed the Jeeves persona of Ask Jeeves, which is one reason I rarely ask Jeeves anything. I think I’ve seriously used the Ask Jeeves search engine once or twice to find relevant information (for my own personal searches, not work or journal related), then see that ‘stuck up glorified Captain Crunch’ standing there critiquing me with his snarling nose and eager to correct my pronunciation of the Queen’s language. “It’s not tomAto Mr. Baker, it’s tomahto.” I would be one happy camping clown if Jeeves (the fictional character) was kidnapped by Columbian FARC revolutionaries or went missing.

So, why does Barry Diller want to off Jeeves also? My personal opinion is that Diller highly resembles Jeeves and one day in the IAC office some worker taped a sign on Diller’s back that said “Kick Me, I’m Ask Jeeves.” Diller probably got so fired up he decided to buy the Ask Jeeves company only so he could get rid of the image of that babbling butler that has been haunting Mr. Diller ever since. Of course, this is just a theory (to add to all of the other search rumors buzzing around).

Of course, my theory has merit. For example, check out this side profile of Mr. Diller:

barry diller photo Ask.com   Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes

Now, this pic of Jeeves :

jeeves Ask.com   Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes

Barry, I agree with you, it’s time to off Jeeves.

Now, I would use a search engine branded as Ask.com, or even if they rebranded under the still very popular Excite name. Excite is still used widely in the US and in Europe where Ask (Jeeves) also owns the EU Excite Network. Such names bring a sense of credibility to the search engine service, which should target its direction under one strong brand to fully compete with Google, Yahoo and MSN. Just don’t rename the thing Ask Barry.

Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Ask.com   Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Ask.com   Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes

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28 thoughts on “Ask.com – Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes

  1. Every one wants to off Jeeves, but it is because of Jeeves that Ask.com was in business long enough to be purchased for $2B.

    Over the past couple of years, the team at Ask has done a great job in turning around the products, but look around 2000- 2002 when Jeeves still had banners, pop-ups, and pre-Teoma results. During this time, other search engines that were bigger and had more money were going out of business or being bought for pennies – Lycos, Excite, etc. Why did they fail where Ask did not?

    It is the the strength of the Jeeves brand that kept Ask.com’s audience returning despite the poor quality of the products. Ask had the brand of Jeeves keeping kids, families, and educators returning each year to use the service.

    While Jeeves may have outlived its usefulness to IAC, it shouldn’t be written off as an outright mistake from the beginning.

  2. Thank you for the excellent comment, these are all good points. By the way, this was a light hearter post brought about by some recent back and forth comments about Ask Jeeves branding from here on out. Opinions on the dropping (or offing) of Jeeves are more than welcomed.

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  4. Jeeves was a kind man. He was polite, quite, calm and humble. No matter how bad of a typist or speller you were, he always knew what you ment. And instead of mocking you for being better than you were, he smiled and told you all that you needed to know. Jeeves was there for me since the beging. When I was a young, strapping lad, he helped me adjust to the hectic lifestyle of the Interweb. He hatched me out of my shell with the incubator called “AskJeeves.com”. He nurtured me and saw me grow into a complex, browsing butterfly. Without Jeeves, I’d be a rude, self-centerd egotist with no respect for women and animals. Jeeves was a true hero to me. The last hero (aside for Chuck Norris). I will miss Jeeves. We, Jeeveites need to ban together to bring back Jeeves. Contact me at Landstander-22@yahoo.com for more info…. LONG LIVE JEEVES!

  5. OH NOOOOOOO!!!! Without Jeeves, who am I supposed to ask?! Jeeveites, stand together, we shall fight to bring back the butler! Lead the way, Landstander!

  6. Why not ask the millions of Jeeves fans if they want him or not a vote! I will bet you would be very surprised. Please dont get rid of Jeeves I really enjoy going to the Ask Jeeves site on the holidays and he is all dressed up for that particular day.Remember the huge issue Coca Cola had a few years back when they tried to change their product.Please let his fans vote on this issue!

  7. We all miss jeeves!
    It was a shock to find out he’s gone, because he made the search engine more humane…
    BRING HIM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. i miss jeeves i havent been on the site since..i went back to google your site seems so boring and plain now. please bring jeeves back :’(

  9. Ask.com is completely boring, its not interesting to see a big red ask.com sign! No, its not. Anytime anyone sees that butler they know that that symbol means askjeeves.com. Puh-lease bring the butler back!!

  10. JEEVES WAS SOOOOOO KEWL! HOW COULD YOU TAKE HIM AWAY? i LOVED SEEING JEEVES WHENEVER I GOT ON THE SITE! NOW I DONT USE YOUR SEARCH ENGINE ANYMORE CAUSE JEEVES IS GONE! YOU PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID! JEEEVES WAS SOOOOOO KEWL(again)! YOU PEOPLE ARE SICK AND WRONG TO TAKE AWAY JEEVES!!!!!

    NOTE 2 JEEVES: I miss you! I wish you didnt leave us! You wewe so nice!

  11. I really miss Jeeves! #12 above summaried it perfectly. In a world ever changing, there was something about the friendly butler that was comforting. He showed me the way, from the most personal to the most professional of questions and answers.

  12. CMON PLEASE BRING JEEVES BACK I WILL GO TO YOUR SIGHT EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE JUST PLEASE BRING HIM BACK HOME