So long, Jeeves

February 21, 2006

Topics: Blogging.

I was sent by the agency, sir. I was given to understand that you require a valet.

-Jeeves, "In Court After the Boat Race (or, Jeeves’ Arrival)

At long last, Ask.com has done it. They’ve done away with the inimitable Jeeves. As a lifelong P.G. Wodehouse fan, I am, of course, emotionally distraught by this. This rebranding of Ask Jeeves comes with plenty of warning, having been discussed in the industry since May of 2005.

Today, Jeeves still stands on the Ask.com site – but not for long. Over his head hovers a daydream balloon of a long-awaited holiday. (Visit the Ask.com site to vote on his final choice of retirement!)

This change indicates, in some ways, an abandonment by the search company of the original concept of the search tool. I fear that, with Jeeves’ inimitable influence absent, the company may now stoop to heinous activities. Purple socks, white topcoats – where will it end?

But seriously, it is rather sad to see the change. I feel that the change reflects a sense that the company is losing it’s unique sense of service to embrace the (admittedly more successful) service presentations of its competitors.

For a reasonably thorough background of the AskJeeves history, read the Search Engine Watch article.

‘Yes, sir,’ said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten in
the leg by a personal friend.

Carry On, Jeeves (1925)

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