Ask Jeeves to buy Bloglines

Russell Beattie Notebook – Dear Jeeves:

The news has been rattling around a bit since last night (over here), ever since Scoble pointed to the report on Napsterization. I think Russell says it best, though.

I rarely visit any other web sites any more. Bloglines has completely changed the way I use the web. Ask Jeeves, on the other hand, is a slightly nasty little search engine with too many ads. It was based on the premise of answering plain English questions, until everyone realised what a bad idea that was. All I remember from it from those days is that whatever you asked it, it suggested that you might have meant to ask how to buy jeans from The Gap. I went back to have another look yesterday, in the hope that maybe it had got better. The front page is actually not bad now – not too busy, just a few links around the outside. Still has that annoying picture of a butler. The results of a search, though, were terrible. A full screen and a half full of ads before getting to any results. No wonder no-one uses it these days.

Google seem to base everything on a pretty simple idea – give your users a good experience, and they’ll use your services. Oddly, that seems difficult for other companies to understand. Mark understood. I can’t see Jeeves ever understanding.

I do hope they prove me wrong.