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The Butler is Out of a Job


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#1 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 09:55 PM

As expected, the butler is going to be looking for a new job at the end of this month.

http://news.bbc.co.u...ogy/4701474.stm

#2 Nadir

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:14 AM

yeah, cool! he definitely sounded too gay :unsure:

No, more seriously, I think another reason that would explain why they let him go would be the fact that they're going international, and Jeeves sounded too english, no offence here. For example, in France it's only ask, same for Japan, Germany etc. Plus, I think ask by itself is more "marketable" than askjeeves.

#3 bragadocchio

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:53 AM

I'm a little sad to see the Butler retire, but I think that it's probably for the better.

I'm looking forward to seeing what steps they take after he is gone, to try to build their brand, and make themselves stand out from others.

#4 JohnMu

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:59 AM

The new "Ask ??": http://forums.fark.c...ype=voteresults

Sorry, it's an old photoshop contest on fark.com, but it has some funny ideas in it (and some ... ), none of which are likely to make it :)

John

#5 bwelford

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 08:02 AM

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success;
Lady Macbeth, on the death of Duncan in the Shakespeare play, "Macbeth"

Even William Shakespeare knew that if you're going to do something, it's better to get on with it and he was writing that 400 years ago.

Barry Diller was raising this question back in September 2005. So how come it took so long? What have they gained by this delay?

#6 randfish

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 04:51 PM

I sincerely hope that it's a PR stunt and they'll "bring back the butler by popular demand" and get a bunch of press in the process. Ask's only real claim to fame is the personalization and specificity espoused by the butler character. IMO it will be a blow to their branding, their image and their reach to drop him.

#7 eKstreme

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 06:03 PM

Didn't the butler do it? Maybe the police finally caught him :D

(Hey, I grew up reading Agatha Christie!)

I agree with Rand, though. What will Ask be without Jeeves? They made some moves into blogs, but beyond that, I don't think they have serious "mind-share" nor market share of anything.

#8 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 06:42 PM

I highly doubt this is a PR stunt. If so, they will be fooling a lot of people. Probably more ill will towards them if they play that trick, then if they simply remove the butler.

I am told that butler doesn't symbolize "search" to the end user.

#9 AbleReach

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:06 PM

Hmmmm... why not replace the butler with The Riddler, of Batman fame?
"Search" could be replaced by "Riddle me this!"


:rofl:

#10 MaryKrysia

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:19 AM

Hmmmm... why not replace the butler with The Riddler, of Batman fame?
"Search" could be replaced by "Riddle me this!"

Clever but possibly too clever for many.

My personal favorite in the contest is "Ask yourself a question."

And I would submit, "Ask Yoda." Who does not know Yoda . . . and he is SO wise!

:notworthy:

Mary

Edited by MaryKrysia, 14 February 2006 - 12:20 AM.


#11 bragadocchio

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:12 AM

Both Google and Yahoo! have much more interesting stories than Ask does.

Two college students, trying to avoid working on their school work, yet toiling away at Stanford, start something new and different on the web. Create a service used by millions. The two run the company, with a CEO hired for adult supervision. Same story for both companies, though Google makes more of it than Yahoo!

Regardless, I think that Ask has to start showing more of its humanity, instead of hiding behind a cartoon (though I'd like one of these Jeeves cut-outs for my office, too).

CNN Money ran an article recently called The best dot-com you never heard of about the company behind Jeeves, and while they say positive things about the company, they do describe it as a mishmash of businesses together under one roof.

Teoma even has a more interesting back story than Jeeves. It started as a homework assignment:

David vs. Google: How a Mathematician from New Jersey wants to Overcome the World's biggest Search engine: A Trip into the World of Algorithms

Maybe they should close down Ask completely, and put their money into Teoma. :D

The story starts in New Jersey instead of in Stanford, and the protagonist is middle-aged and a college professor instead of a college student, but at least it's one that people might be able to relate to a little.

#12 AbleReach

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:59 AM

My personal favorite in the contest is "Ask yourself a question."

And I would submit, "Ask Yoda."

"I'm feeling lucky" could be "May the force be with you."


:D



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