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Ask Jeeves Unveils New Butler

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-09-21

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After a mysterious, week-long absence from the Ask Jeeves search site, the company today unveiled the new Jeeves butler.

The sleeker, healthier looking Jeeves personifies improvements to Ask Jeeves, and was introduced in conjunction with a series of new capabilities on the popular search site. The new capabilities announced today include MyJeeves, the ability to save and manage search queries and results across the entire search experience, a robust local search capability, and the next generation of the company's proprietary Teoma search technology.

"Jeeves is a resilient guy, a survivor," said Scott Garell, executive vice president and general manager of U.S. Sites at Ask Jeeves, Inc. "Since he made his debut on Ask Jeeves in 1996, he has weathered the dot.com collapse and the rise of some pretty big players in the search space. While he is holding his own against Google and Yahoo, we thought we should get him into shape before MSN's butterfly climbs into the ring."

Over the years Ask Jeeves has evolved the strategic intent of the butler and his role on Ask Jeeves. Today, Jeeves is an icon symbolizing the search experience on Ask Jeeves, which is now more flexible, fast and technologically advanced. The character reflects this with a more modern persona including a new suit, a leaner physique and a fresh profile.

Jeeves was last updated in 2000, when Ask Jeeves was known as a search site that could understand natural language. Since then, Ask Jeeves has been a pioneer in the search space, adding differentiated technology and features that go "beyond ten blue links," including:

-- MyJeeves, the ability to save and organize your searches and the company's first step toward full personalization functionality;

-- Teoma, Ask Jeeves' proprietary, algorithmic search technology, now with improved relevance and freshness;

-- Local Search with maps, news, entertainment, yellow pages, and integrated content from CitySearch; and

-- Smart Search for instant answers to popular searches.

"Jeeves adds the intuitive and personal touch to a differentiated, world- class search experience," continued Garell. "It's what you should expect from your Internet butler."

The creator of Ask Jeeves' butler Jeeves, Marcos Sorensen, documents the character's journey of self-discovery on Ask.com, across diverse locations like the Himalayan Mountains, the Amazon Jungle, and the Utah Salt Flats. Each stop along the journey provided Jeeves with insight about how to best satisfy consumers' searching needs, including the need for flexibility (to search with keywords and questions), power (Teoma search), and personalization (MyJeeves).

"People had come to think of Jeeves in one particular way," said Sorensen. "But now Jeeves is this much more dynamic guy who can make the Ask Jeeves search experience even better for people. He feels really fresh again and I am looking forward to his next phase."

Jeeves' full journey -- including his new features and philosophy -- can be seen in an animated feature by clicking on the Butler icon on Ask.com.

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