Ask Jeeves to Cannibalize Teoma
I have had the privilege to be in communication with Jim Lanzone at Ask Jeeves on a fairly regular basis. In some of our email exchanges, he discussed how Teoma is Ask Jeeves. I couldn’t find the right word for it, so I used “cannibalize”. Cannibalize is a harsh word, but the point is, Ask Jeeves is what people know. You and I might know Teoma, and respect it highly but its time for Ask and Teoma to “establish themselves as a single entity.” Apostolos one of the founders of Teoma is the “#1 guy driving the engine”, Jim told me. Jim continues by saying, without Ask Jeeves, Teoma would not be where it is today, so in a sense “Teoma is really just a theory” – Ask Jeeves is the engine.
For us, as individuals tied so closely to the technology and search, Teoma is something inspirational to us. Subject specific popularity, looking at the Web as communities, hubs, and authorities – and bring back results in milliseconds – Apostolos and Tao are geniuses. In Mike’s interview, in an earlier entry I wrote today, Jim said to Mike; “It is all Ask Jeeves now. As Apostolos said earlier, it was only seven people and it’s now into triple digits.”
This is not a major issue for Ask to deal with outside of the SEM community. But Ask Jeeves does not want to hurt any feelings within this industry. Apostolos said “So there is indeed an appreciation of the simple fact that you were able to help us.” He commends our industry for helping the search engines, and Ask Jeeves, work harder to get to where search should be. He said they are currently at stage three of ten and he is very excited to be part of Ask Jeeves and the future of search. Even though that might mean that Teoma is just a theory, a theory that will remain with Ask Jeeves, Apostolos and the SEM community for a really long time.
Again, I started a thread on this topic at Search Engine Watch Forums.
Columnist Barry Schwartz is the Editor of Search Engine Roundtable and President of RustyBrick, Inc., a Web services firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales.