Saturday, September 30, 2006

Save Jeeves!!!



I want to save Jeeves, and I want YOUR help. You can help, by passing this link along to other Jeeves fans, or even non-Jeeves-fans who might find it informative. My hopes would be that the higher-ups in the Ask Jeeves world (and their parent company IAC) -- and perhaps ultimately Barry Diller himself, will come to read this piece, and reconsider their decision.

(Quick note, I have recieved a large amount of comments regarding the use of the word "butler" instead of "valet". I apologize for the wording, but the word "valet" has an entirely different meaning in the U.S. (it's a car-parking attendant) and when we say "butler" - I believe we are describing what would be called a "valet" in the U.K. Again, forgive the usage, but this article was first written for the people I am most trying to convince -- the executives of Ask Jeeves and IAC.)

But I get ahead of myself. Who am I -- that you should listen to me? And what exactly IS happening with Jeeves anyway? And what if you don't really give a rat about Jeeves -- why should you care if he disappears tommorrow? These three questions, I will try to answer as plainly as possible within this post.

Firstly, who am I? I am a former Jeeves employee, who has put in many years of service to the butler, since the early heydays of the dotcom boom, to the darkest depths of looming bankruptcy, and the remarkable rebound that made Jeeves one of the icons of tenacity and resilience from the ashes of the dotcom bust. I survived the best of times and the worst of times in the company -- and saw so many layoffs it would make your head spin. But through it all, I kept faith in the butler, and that faith was always rewarded. With some regret, I left the company a while back, to pursue a proverbial "offer I couldn't refuse" -- yet my heart still remains with the old company, and the excellent people I worked with there.

To answer the second question -- what IS happening with Jeeves lately? Well, if you have missed the stories in the news, you can easily do a search yourself -- just ask Jeeves himself, "Jeeves is dumping the butler?" and you'll get several links describing the scenario. Without going into too much detail, it would seem that the new owners of the company (Interactive Corp), are not too fond of the butler, and they would like to see him go. More specifically, if rumors on the internet are to believed, it would seem Barry Diller himself wants the butler's head on a plate. And I do believe the rumors, somewhat, because at least back when I was still with the company, there was never any serious talk about removing the world-famous icon, and I think Ask Jeeves executives would never shoot themselves in the foot by destroying their most recognizable brand. Sadly, it would seem that the aforementioned foot-shooting is going to take place anyway.

And now to the third question -- why should you care what I have to say? Well, if you are a Jeeves fan, or an employee, or a former employee with friends and vested interests in the company, that answer is pretty obvious. But even if you aren't a Jeeves fan, you should still care about the fate of the butler. After all, the whole beauty of the internet is freedom of choice -- including choice of which search engine to use. And despite my own admitted fondness for the Goliath of the search industry (Google, in case you've been living under a rock for the past few years) -- I am also a firm believer that power corrupts. Even with their Do No Evil motto, the world is a better place, with challengers such as the also-mighty Yahoo, and the scrappy Ask Jeeves, waiting in the wings to keep things interesting. If nothing else, amongst the big four search brands (Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Jeeves) -- the butler is the most human face, the most welcoming character to greet the curious internet searcher. It is sad that he be squelched, in the vain hopes that people will somehow take the ask.com site to be a "serious" contender in the search world.

In fact -- it's a painfully curious oversight that the IAC and Ask Jeeves execs can't see that Google and Yahoo's own meteoric rise was brought about, in part, by their very non-serious approach to business. Google long prided itself in it's quirky name, and often-changing artwork that showed the company's fun-loving and human side. Yahoo, despite being deeply ingrained in business-people's minds as a seriously powerful business, still sports a name that your average user can yodel in goofy delight. And MSN, despite being the most "serious" of the big search engines, and leveraging their almighty monopoly over the computing world (read: cheating) - still cannot gain traction against the other sites. Face it, the internet is intimidating and inhuman enough as it is, nobody is going to visit you more often because you have decided that your site has too much personality, and would be better off being "serious".

And having long walked the halls of Ask Jeeves, I also know that the butler's fans -- the sites most loyal users -- share my beliefs. How do I know that? Aside from endless anecdotal evidence, I also know for a fact that one of the things that made us Google's most valuable search partner, was our differentiated user base! That's right, whereas many other sites have lots of crossover users, Jeeves has always had a remarkably high percentage of users who did NOT often use other search engines (such as Google or MSN). When Google shows their ads to Jeeves users, they know their ads are being seen by fresh eyes, not the same people who already use Google for search. Why is this? Because the butler commands loyalty. People in the business world have become blinded by their own immersion in the internet, and they seem to have forgotten the massivly large chunk of the population that still sees computers and the internet world as a very intimidating place. This massively large chunk doesn't want serious, they want helpful, they want what works. And the butler fills both those needs.

The other area in which Jeeves execs have been chronically short-sighted has been the value of Jeeves persona to kids. Early on in the dotcom era, with very little work and remarkably little content, Ask Jeeves Kids enjoyed an unbelievably strong following amongst children and parents and teachers (read: the backbone of our society). Sadly, due to the difficulty of "monetizing" Ask Jeeves Kids traffic, the site was neglected and ignored... with people being systematically cut from the project until there was literally nobody left to update it. Despite this, the site still gets a decent amount of traffic for something that -- at least at the time of my departure from the company -- had zero investment from the company. A golden opportunity to impress a very strong brand upon an entire generation of kids, in a useful and informative way, wasted -- because Jeeves couldn't immediately turn a buck. And it's still not too late to change this -- if Jeeves really is in the biz for the longhaul, they could easily decide to pour even a little investment back into this instant-hit brand, and easily beat out every other search engine without even trying. Those little users will pay back big dividends later, if you could take your eyes off the quarterly earnings for just a second to think about it.

I think the biggest travesty of the Jeeves decision though, is this ultimate slap to the face of it's most loyal fans -- the users. They stuck through the worst of times, when the butler spewed out literal garbage, when the Jeeves operations and employees were in complete disarray, when the stock sank below a dollar, when the quality of results reflected the desperate straits that the butler faced. Throughout that time, they stuck with him, even as every possible tweak was applied to the site to wrench more money out, to keep Jeeves afloat a little longer, user-experience be damned. And float he did, borne on the backs of his fans... and like a phoenix, he really did rise out of the ashes, not only improving the situation finacially, but also improving the quality of the service through careful aquisitions, the steady guiding hand of Skip Battle, and the intense labor of the butlers' very loyal employees. In an age where Google's results are constantly getting poorer due to intense spamming by people exploiting the Goliath's page-ranking vulnerabilities, Jeeves results only look better and better in comparison. (I know Google zealots will vehmently disagree, but go ahead, and take both sites through the Pepsi Challenge, and you'll see what I mean)

And what's the way to let the world know this? Certainly not by decapitating the butler. The public explanation that "people MAY associate the butler too much with his old abilities" is absolute rubbish. Do you remember how terrible Yahoo results were once upon a time? Has this hurt them any? People didn't shy away from the butler because he was too jovial or welcoming or friendly, they shied away because Jeeves was always forced to chose paths of poor user experience in order to meet their quarterly bottom line. That annoying search bar at the top of the site that didn't go away when you clicked on results, the mess of ads that would appear before any regular search results in order to squeeze more money out of the site, the decision to spew out answers to a phrase in quotes even if no exact phrase match was found -- these were the things that kept people from adopting Jeeves. Anytime we removed these annoying features, Jeeves traffic would grow.

Alas now, when Google's name is overwhelmingly dominant, such little tweaks may not be enough anymore to topple them -- but why would you need to? For every McDonalds, there's a Burger King. For every Coke, there's a Pepsi. What is wrong with playing the underdog, the scrapper that fiercly guards it's loyal fans, and fights hard to EARN converts? The internet is an expanding place, and it's not expanding amongst the digital elitists, it's expanding amongst the new converts, the easily intimdiated, the ones who want to see a friendly face ready to show them the Way of the Web.

You want to make Jeeves an even bigger success? I can tell you how. Quit blowing all your money on half-baked features and tools that are only shoddy imitations of anything Google or Yahoo can put out. You will never, ever outspend those guys, even with IAC's considerable resources. Google and Yahoo did not get HUGE with bells and whistles. They got huge with their core search abilities, the formula is this:

Get me the BEST answers, and in the process piss off the LEAST amount of users (with ads, revenue tricks, anything that involves useless extra clicks, and the like).

That is the formula, it was applicable then, and it is still applicable now. Sure, do a bit of marketing, but save the majority of your money into tuning your results, making your site as FAST as possible, with your answers as RELEVANT as possible, and strip out any bells and whistles that do nothing to increase the loyalty of your users.

Above all, RESPECT your users, don't kick dirt into their faces by deciding they are too stupid to appreciate their favorite site unless you kill off their favorite mascot. Even if you absolutely MUST follow through with this hare-brained scheme, the least you could do is keep an Ask Jeeves front end up -- it would take minimal resources to simply let people pick which portal they would like better -- the friendly butler? Or the "serious" ask.com site? I'm betting on the former, but even if I lose, it would still be foolish to forsake those unique, differentiated, and loyal fans, when it would be a fairly trivial matter to respect them and keep them happy.

I have many more suggestions and insights that I believe could be of value to the executives of IAC and Jeeves, if only they could swallow their pride enough to listen to an unknown former employee and true butler fan (as well as an internet junkie since it's earliest days). I may just be a old voice in a changed company, but quite often it is those the people you least expect, that have the most candid and surprising insights into a company's structure, it's strengths and weaknesses, and it's underlying value. After all, if you make a mistake up at the top -- who's more likely to tell you you're wrong? The adoring sycophants, all jockeying for position and favor amongst the company leaders? Or the guys from the bottom who live and breath the water-cooler talk, who have no possible motive except the betterment of the company? As a former employee, I have even less reason to be guarded in my words, and every reason to tell it how I saw it.

Stay tuned for more, and fans -- sound off! Perhaps if the executives persist on this disastrous course, you - the users - the consumers - the only ones that truly matter, can change their minds (just think back to the famous failed experiment of New Coke for a good example of how this could happen.)

234 Comments:

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preach it brother!

Long live the butler!

 
At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't kill Jeeves!

 
At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't they use Jeeves to make money instead of dumping him? What about Jeeves action figures, Jeeves baby clothes, jeeves playing cards, etc... none of the other engines have a character to use in that way.

 
At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there anything we can do -- an email to complain to? A place to be heard about this, or is it just a done deal?

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At a time when other net-based companies are trying to *humanize* their cold faces (witness the MSN "Butterfly" and the Vehix... whatever that guy in the black unitard is), it seems oddly miscalculated (aka just plain dumb) to throw out the very thing that makes Ask Jeeves appealing and user friendly -- JEEVES.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Liddle Lisa said...

What will they do with that GIANT Jeeves Butler Macy's parade balloon? They CAN'T get rid of that character!

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Barry
Don't be contrary
By canceling Jeeves
Would create peeves
Hey Diller
Don't be a killer

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves is what sets Ask Jeeves apart from other search engines! He gives it character, personality and a face among the other virutal boring search engines. Jeeves must be saved!

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger savejeeves said...

Well said everyone!

Keep the comments coming.... I'll read all of them and create a main blog post that contains all the best observations.

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Seattle Slew said...

Jeeves Rocks! He's versatile--he can be cool, hip, stuffy, mod, old-fashioned, righteous, you name it!. Absolutely, to get rid of him when he is one of the few remaining "pioneers of the internet", one of the last truly recognizable figures is just maybe the new owners' first step to burying the company.

When seemingly every company out there tries so hard to create ADD-inducing ads with over the top "beautiful people", hip-hop-techno dance tunes & all the other blah,blah,blah that the corporate suits think will sell their wares, Jeeves is doing it up old-school: we recognize him, know him and trust him.

Students, young and old professionals, tech-geeks, et al. would each love to have a personal butler as trustworthy as Jeeves to do his/her bidding; I have "employed" Jeeves for years & don't want to see him end (I even named my horse after him!)

What can I say? DON'T GET RID OF HIM....kudos to Jeeves' artist for keeping the company's symbol fresh, alive, real & fun all of these years!!!!!

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whereas the Butler image works fine in the US and the UK, it doesn't translate well internationally. That's the rationale for changing the brand. (or so I've heard)

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting into words what so many people feel. Barry Diller's attitude towards The Butler really sucks.

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Current Jeeves Employee said...

Not sure who you are, but I think you should just tell us. =) And I kindof agree with what you're saying, but it may be a lost cause.

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're a fucking idiot.

If that many people cared about Jeeves they wouldnt be using Google because you're right, the results are better. Nimrod. You're so old school working at Ask Jeeves was probably your first job. You don't know shit about shit. Go play volleyball in the quad.

Speaking of which can anyone think of something funnier than the thought of a bunch of Google PhDs playing volleyball in their quad? Or roller hockey? They either didn't see Revenge of the Nerds, or didn't understand it.

(ps you're a loser)

 
At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^
|
|
Anonymous AND a chickenshit.





Oh ya, Jeeves ROCKS!

 
At 6:12 AM, Anonymous A. Koontz said...

Mr. Diller,

I know you know a good thing when you see it, otherwise you wouldn't have bought AskJeeves in the first place. I trust Jeeves. Take him away and who will I trust? AskDiller? AskBallmer? Don't think so.

Do the right thing.

A Koontz

 
At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Barry Diller

Our names rhyme
Ask Jeeves is always on time
no need to spend a dime
It'd be a crying crime
sourer than a mexican lime
please don't kill Jeeves cause i'm
sure you'd never clean the grime
squashing our happy butler would leave behind
please pretty please preserve the hottest dude online.

ya dig?

Harley Spiller, fan of Ask Jeeves

 
At 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who gives a rats ass about a website that loads other websites in a frame and claims their content as its own? Screw the butler!

 
At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody cares. As long as the site works the same as before, it doesn't matter. And I bet you're pruning the comments on this site to make it look like a lot of people support your cause, when in fact it that number of people pales in comparison to those who don't care.

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, WE MUST REVOLT!

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You rail against google, yet you use a google product (blogger) to ask others to save jeeves. Thats irony.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep Jeeves!

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it a monumentally stupid decision from when I first heard about it.

*** Save Jeeves! ***

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask Jeeves sucks, let it die.

http://google.com

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Steven said...

I agree. We shouldn't get rid of Jeeves! He is the main icon of the Ask Jeeves search engine, and always seems to be a friendly face.

Save Jeeves!

 
At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former Jeeves employee, I can only say that I hope the butler is shot in public by Diller.

It was embarrassing then and more embarrassing now.

Nobody cares about Jeeves and the only reason Jeeves Kids has any users is because ask.com cons kids into downloading their toolbar.

Best thing Jeeves ever did was buy Teoma.

Instead of worrying about some stupid jeeves character, you might spend your energy convincing the engineers to update the NLP.

 
At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves is my man. I stuck by his side even with Google flexing their power over all.

Save the beloved butler!

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jeeves is a gay fudgepacker.
long live yahoo.

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Neal said...

I am helping spread the word on my website as well and will keep the story on top for a few days.

I wish the Butler good luck!

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves must stay!

 
At 1:42 AM, Blogger lostfan said...

Jeeves is crappy and boring, but I'd prefer they kept him and cut off the TEN sponsored links pushing organic results off the page in the serps.

 
At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SAVE JEEVES. Ask JEEVES is the most recognisable mascot of any of the search sites and the internet will be a worse place without the butler to aid our searches!

Nik

 
At 4:09 AM, Anonymous A jeeves fan said...

Jeeves was the first search engine I used on the web and it'd be a shame to see such a distinct character get consigned to the archives of the web. Keep him alive!

 
At 4:12 AM, Blogger Stv said...

God, the Internet is populated by sad, junvenile people, isn't it? Some of these comments don't deserve to be published.

To the point:

Jeeves is the brand identity of the Ask organisation. How many people know about Ask Jeeves? How many people know about Ask?

Searching has changed, has it? No - Google has made people think searching has changed.

A search engine is a search engine at the end of the day - anyone remember AltaVista? That was my favourite (Jeeves was number 2) before Google came along and tsunami'd all the others.

'Jeeves', not 'Ask' is why people remember 'Ask Jeeves'.

Keep Jeeves - unless, that is, you're thinking to get out of the search enjine market.

 
At 4:15 AM, Blogger BlogBod said...

Agree - not just Coke there have been many failings including British Airways, Pepsi and many more. Why change something that works and people have got to know?

I think if they want ASK want to let people know about what else their site has to offer, by removing the iconic figure of Jeeves isn't going to help.

See you this blog has made it to the BBC News website too :o)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4314886.stm

 
At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves is not a butler. He's a VALET.

 
At 4:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice bit of viral marketing here...

 
At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves died a long time ago and I think the whole brand has gone too far down the line to be saved. The potential was there a few years back when MSN search wasn't around.

These days Ask is in the same league as Altavista, Hotbot and co. i.e. very very minor.

Saying that, I thought your argument was well presented, though I still think it's a lost cause.

Justin

 
At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Bangalore in India..

As a software man for the last 22 years and also as someone who is very fond of books, it is totally inconceivable that the new owners are so naive as to remove the icon `Jeeves'. I reach for that site only because the name `Jeeves' remains in memory. It will be suicidal and retrogade step for the new owners. At least, my team mates and I will avoid that search engine should they go ahead with their dumb proposal.

 
At 4:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Butlers and valets (you choose which Jeeves is) are an anachronism -- period.

The engine behind it *might* be great (I always just Google), but using a manservant as the public face of a modern technology is simply inappropriate.

Rid yourself of your emotional attachment to something that only reminds the rest of the world of yesteryear; it'll help you cope better with his long-overdue retirement.

Perhaps he can curl up on the sofa and spend it watching The Remains of the Day?

 
At 4:29 AM, Blogger surly girl said...

um, why would i care? couldn't you just, i don't know, get over it?

 
At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy is a VALET not a butler you idiots

 
At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay!! No more 'Did you mean.....'
.
.
.
.
.
.
No I never!

Google is way better.

 
At 4:42 AM, Blogger deadmanjones said...

I have never before been passionately moved to announce my apathy, it being self-contradictory. Your blog has changed this. I now want to scream from the rooftops that I, being of sound mind, couldn't given a tinker's cuss what logo Ask / Ask Jeeves uses. I am deeply passionate about my lack of passion on this subject, and very serious when I say I don't take your cause seriously.

 
At 4:44 AM, Anonymous atinymonkey at g mail said...

Jeeves is a rather childish idea, one that actually sets my teeth on edge (for some reason). I don't like the idea of a corporation pretending a valet is getting my search results, as it's just a blunt (and failed) attempt at anthromorphisation. Google manage this much better with a few 'warm and friendly' colours and letters, and without the patronisation of the clients. Perhaps is the seedyness of the search results, an innocent search that contains porn results looks much worse because supposedly 'jeeves' selected the offensive content.

I personally much prefer the graphic free interface, as putting up useless pictures just serves to draw on my bandwidth. It shows another level of disrespect, the graphic must load before you can search. I don't know about anyone else but I don't visit a search engine to look at some faceless company vanity project, I want fast and accurate results.

If Jeeves were dropped and a simple 'ask' and 'answer' interface were installed, then I would probably use the engine more. As is stands, it's a hangover from the 90's that ranks alongside blogs last updated 1997, and radiates the same incontinent pathos.

Just let Jeeves die, and move on with your life.

 
At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Jeeves goes, then the terrorists win. We can't let Jeeves become another victim of 9/11. SAVE JEEVES!!!

 
At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save Jeeves Please....!

And can we also have his good morning and good evening greeting back as well as he seems to have lost his personality!

 
At 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have hit the BBC now, expect a flood of support.

 
At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Couldn't they use Jeeves to make money instead of dumping him? What about Jeeves action figures, Jeeves baby clothes, jeeves playing cards, etc... none of the other engines have a character to use in that way."

Oh dear God, tell me you are joking. You do know that Jeeves isn't an Ask sole source?

And - HE IS A VALET!!

 
At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Christopher said...

That's some fine astroturfing in action, mister.

Is this the only way Ask Jeeves could get in the press? It's not like they do anything else. Yes, I use Bloglines, but it's not *that* great. There's certainly been nothing actually notable added to it.

So yes, well done to the butler's PR people.

 
At 5:23 AM, Anonymous BigRon said...

Am I just a hardened cynic or does anyone else think that ask have absolutely no intention of losing the butler and that the whole thing is just another marketing ploy...

 
At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves must stay

 
At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many a time have I had to ask Jeeves to answer questions and the man always delivers. Vive La Jeeves! I shall look into getting a motion passed into getting my student union into the fight...

Zippo Hippo

 
At 5:31 AM, Anonymous Kaiser Wilhelm II said...

I was sodomized by Jeeves :(

But yeah, save Jeeves!

 
At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking at the length of your posting - you have a lot of time on your hands!

 
At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Ask Jeeves' would not be the same without 'Jeeves' 'Keep the Butler'

 
At 5:48 AM, Blogger Tessa said...

I totaly think that Jeeves should be kept. As has been said before he is the face of the company and really defines it.
Do you remember when cocopops tried to change their name? It flopped but the publicity of the outrage at the change really worked in their favour. It is a free reminded that they are still there. I personally had forgotten all about Jeeves as a search engine. But with this latest bout of reporting on it I have thought about using it again. I would say to ASK "Go with this free publicity. Use this extra interest to show that Jeeves is more efficient and more versitile than ever"

 
At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking As a former employee of Ask Jeeves, I think you should stop trying to save a cartoon internet butler and maybe try to save some people living on the streets, orphans, maybe even babies with leukemia -- that sort of thing.

 
At 6:00 AM, Anonymous Accessible Web Design, Leeds and Manchester, UK said...

Jeeves has one big problem right now - you can't submit new sites! This stops it being up to date.

Even the results you do get back don't seem to have quite the same level of relevancy (such as geographical location).

I always used to like Jeeves but he has fallen behind the times - its not Jeeves that needs replacing, its the back end technology.

 
At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares!

 
At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Some1 said...

Its becoming a global habit, change or leave. Thanks people like you always be there to save the our interests.

 
At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Ben Paddon said...

I don't use Ask Jeeves often, purely because it doesn't seem to generate the quality of results as Google or Dogpile, but when I do use the site I enjoy being greeted by the Butler. He doesn't really need to go anywhere, does he?

And if he doesn't "translate" to other territories, just use a different mascot for other territories. Simple as. People in Australia aren't going to be using Ask.co.uk, must like people in the UK aren't going to be using Ask.com.au

 
At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Linda said...

If people don't
"understand" Jeeves, then educate them.

Anonymous is a grumpy fellow! Individuals can save babies with leukemia AND a cartood character, all at the same time. And how many babies had Anonymous saved?

 
At 6:21 AM, Anonymous butler suks said...

LOL ask jeffs suks anyway. GOGLE IS BETTER AS IT HAS MORE SOSIPHISTIFICATED SEARCHING TECHNOLOGY. WHY HAVE A BUTLER REPRESENTING A INTAWEB SEARCH SITE ANYWAY WAT A STUPID IDEA! I HOPE THAT BUTLER GETS KICKED.

 
At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is he getting sacked or being made redundant? Will he go onto job seekers allowance will this support him and his family? Im worried got his future!

 
At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of you remember when Coca-cola tried to change? Classic Coke had to be brought back by the clamoring... let us do the same for Jeeves.

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES ITS ABOUT TIME BILL GATES FIRED JEECES FROM GOOGLE! HE SUCKS AND HE CANT ASNWER ANY OF MY QUEISOTNS.

 
At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Ollegren said...

All you Jeeves fans - why do you worry?
Jeeves is alive, well, kicking and GROWING!
See www.jeeves.se

 
At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe they're even thinking about it. You don't just "ask", you "ask someone" - JEEVES!

If it's just Ask, it might as well be Google.

Save Jeeves!

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad decision to drop Jeeves. He has all the answers!

 
At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a long fan of P. G. Wodehouse and his inimitable Jeeves. Google and Yahoo are such trendy souding names. Jeeves would wisely advise Bertie Wooster to avoid such faddish search engines and stick with the sagacious advice dispensed by the Ask Jeeves search engine. Please save Jeeves. Technology, as we saw when Katrina hit, often fails us, but Jeeves never will. Save Jeeves!

 
At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Ashleigh said...

Let him stay

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Cyphon said...

Save jeeves... I cannot imagine askjeeves w/o jeeves its pretty silly to mess with a brand because brands are all major coorporations have going for them; their image and their brand.

 
At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save the Butler! He's what makes it different.

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Pete. said...

You can't live in a world where nothing changes. Don't be so set in your ways! Sure, Jeeves is a good face for the website, but in the end, the website still offers the same search service.

Surely, it is time for him to go.. You're all acting like Grandad's that can't face change!

Pete.

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never used Ask Jeeves. I've used Yahoo, then Altavista, then gradually started using Google when they brought DejaNews. If you want to control the name of Jeeves, buy the company. I know if I owned it I would rename it Ask Optimus Prime, because Optimus Prime is really cool.

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you. I think axing Jeeves is monumentally stupid and something needs to be done.
When a company creates in icon for itself (like say Ronald McDonald or The Colonel for Kentucky Fried Chicken), and actively promotes that icon in order to make itself 'stand apart' from its competitors, it needs to stick with that icon because it becomes part of the public identity of the company. To get rid of that icon makes the company look just like every other company in its field.
Jeeves gives a human face to what is essentially an inhuman, faceless entity. Computers are not seen as being even remotely human. They're machines. Search engines are machines. Jeeves provides a human face to this machine and people like that. People like to think that SOMETHING in cyberspace is human, even if they know it isn't.
I like Jeeves, I think he's cool and I think he needs to stay.
Rashidanne

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you change the name I will shoot this dog!

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ninjas are totally sweet. Rename it to Ask a Ninja.

 
At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evil corporate types, blah blah. Where's Michael Moore and Ralph Nader when you need them.... If you're losing sleep over the change of a search engine I feel sorry for you.

 
At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm not important, just posting anonymously on a blogger's comment page. To get real cred, I'll have to start a "Kill Jeeves" blog, get linked to the blog of another Important Person, or mentioned in passing in a news story. Then people will really listen to me! But if they don't change it to Ask a Ninja, I really don't care...

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Jeeves at the corner market yesterday afternoon. He didn't look good. Was muttering something about dipping into kid's college trust fund to pay the mortgage if the job falls through.

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask Jeeves is an elegant, polite, unassuming, efficient search site and will lose its identity if it loses its iconic valet. Jeeves is the epitomy of understated assistance, getting things sorted just in time with the minimum of support from his employer. Isn't this what we all want from a search engine?
Bweri, Musoma, TZ

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giving a search engine a character like Jeeves is as dumb as calling a help menu Clippy.

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Uncover China said...

Good luck for trying to keep it, although if they are going out to improve AJ then why try to stop them...

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love asking Jeeves, who else can help?!

 
At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The butler is a worldwide recognised icon for giving 'plain', 'to the point', 'un-cluttered' concise answers to your question.
If we get rid of the butler, one has to ask what marketing hype will we get in reply to our questions?

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The butler was marketing hype. Who needs cartoon character to explain "fill in search box by asking a question." Maybe if you are in elementary school, if so then I propose the new name to be Ask Big Bird.

 
At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

down with the butler!! i have never liked jeeves... and he is the sole reason that i have never used that search engine.

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

google! google! google!

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save Jeeves! He's fun and vaguely human.

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous AnonJeevesEmployee said...

I am SO glad someone is speaking up about this. Have you seen the past UK marketing campaign for Jeeves? They were phenomenal. You want results? Boot the US marketing firms, or at least have them take notes from the UK marketers. The response to the UK ads was always amazing, and the brand is immensely strong in the UK (and not just because Jeeves was a UK persona).

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Boshika Tara said...

Diller needs to wake up and realise people who use this search engine do it out of loyalty to the butler icon, or else we all would have turned into google maniacs long time ago. By removing Jeeves he will be losing a lot of loyalists

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves should be kept alive. He's one of the earliest faces of the web.

Keep the butler!

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they really NEED to get rid of Jeeves? It seems an easy mental link for most of the public using ask.com. Sad...

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save Jeeves! My wife always tells people to ask the butler.

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jeev'es Christ"... I can only fathom that this whole exercise is to test the 'stoopidty rating' of intellectualized muddle class that has access to the intertwaddle... You need a slap.

(Horrible judgemental i know, but really)

 
At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say you will "...create a main blog post that contains all the best observations."

Hope you include this one:

Grow up, get a life and do something useful with your time. Really, who gives a monkeys arse?

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they want to lose users (as apparently they do) they'll go ahead and drop Jeeves regardless of public outcry.

I for one would like to see Jeeves around for years to come. I don't have much hope as the corporate big wigs are usually off on their own tangent and could give a crap less about the views of the consumers of their products.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even people who have never read Wodehouse, know that Jeeves had ALL the answers to ALL the questions one ever needed to ask! Without Jeeves to solve the problems - what have you got?

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares if some second-rate search engine changes their name, even if it causes them to lose users. I guess those folks will...gasp...use one of the dozen other search engines out there, like the arguably better Google or Yahoo.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is the Register going to do a story on this being another example of a gang synchophants getting in a tizzy over something completely insignificant?

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Jeeves, have they gone mad or what, don't kill him off, I use it all the time, It gives out great results but it wouldn't be the same without seeing him there.

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous supereagle said...

Jeeves should stay!!

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

save Him please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So they came along and bought Jeeves. Why?

Because it was a loss making piece of old world never visited crap that nobody ever used!!

I don't think so.

Jeeves IS !! Jeeves DOES !!

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves is the brand, getting rid of him is like Google rebranding themselves. It's the slight eccentricity of Ask Jeeves that makes it more appealing than the mass of other search engines out there.

Save Jeeves!

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Ask Jeeves sole redemming trait is their mascot. Forget rebranding, just shutter the whole search engine.

 
At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Peter A. Hyde said...

I've only used Ask Jeeves a few times, each time hoping for better luck. All I ever got was links to sites that were no help at all.

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JEEVES ROCKS. I always thought he added some personability to the world of the web which doesnt have much otherwise. Keep him around for all the old timers.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger blaine said...

I agree. What could be gained by his untimely end? How much money will they waste finding out the customer base wants to keep Jeeves? blaine

 
At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I saw Jeeves at a bar tonight getting totally plastered. He looked really upset too I think he was crying. Talking incoherently about his life falling apart.

If you see Jeeves in person be careful. He's in a very unstable condition. If he tries to approach you, do not make eye contact, walk away immediately. Call the police if he makes any agressive movements.

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I linked to your site from mine. Please link back if you can.
http://tvmeg.blogspot.com/
I used to work for Ask Jeeves, too.
Thank you for your efforts!

 
At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear, oh dear, ditch your brand image because a management consultant told you to. This is the kind of thing I see time and time again as a Creative Director of a design company (twodesign.net).

If you want brand direction for your company, ask a design consultant NOT a management one.

 
At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be mad to kill him off. Everyone knows why he is there, why he is called jeeves. Some 20 year old hotshot that works for the company has prob brought this stupid idea up and now everything has to changed! Well I say NO to you Sir!

 
At 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves is a legend, how can you ditch him. He has feelings you know. We all still love him even if ask don't.

Long live jeeves.

 
At 2:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - SAVE JEEVES he's a legend

 
At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to support letting Jeeves go - if only so that someone else could gainfully employ him. Obviously his new owner has only the view to the short term and as such his time is limited either way.

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger Dramedy Girl said...

I love Jeeves the Butler! All Jeeves are butlers! :o) I sincerely hope they do not change Jeeves!

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could any sane person think of getting rid of Jeeves? If Jeeves goes, I will stop using their site.

 
At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't used AJ for years but after reading your paragraph about Google's bells and whistles and now worser and worser results I am going to give the butler a go.

Keep up the good work!

Paul
Liverpool UK

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger Lynn Dalsing said...

You rock my socks off, unknown dude!! I'm more of a Yahoo! girl, but AskJeeves has always been a good choice when I can't think in Boulean terms. Jeeves always encouraged natural language searches which as you say is useful for those who find the internet intimidating.

The essential choice is keep Jeeves or disinegrate into a worthless brand like About.com that constantly slaps you in the face with pop-ups. So really, not much of a choice at all . . .

 
At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't kill the butler, he's the face and name of a brand - and one of the few people like on the internet!

 
At 3:19 AM, Blogger Bri said...

He was the first thing I can really remember of the internet, you can't get rid of him!!

How about they have a series of him going on holiday, and wearing different clothes and stuff, to provoke interest about what he will look like today? (Maybe even a love interest for valentines day?)

 
At 3:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please keep Jeeves.
As a beginner (& a silver one at that), I owe a lot to our friendly butler who helps me (& million of others) to navigate & find that "elusive" item on the web.
Jeeves is more than a search engine,he is like a friend.
Please retain him.
Kind regards.

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

People,
There is no problem with killing Jeeves.. he looks like a 50 year old pervert anyway.
Don't you think, somehow, that along the line, there is actually going to be no change... Maybe the company that run the site, have made up that its' identity will be changing because it new how much upset it would cause!?
It is blatently a big publicity stunt, because everyone will start using it from all the uproar and amazement it is causing.
Google, is the best search engine currently available on the internet. It is fast, efficient, easy to use, and is never "down for maintenence".
And anyway, the idea of having a butler for the face of a search engine, surely shows how it is backward thinking.. It is an old concept that isn't going to help the comapany move forward.
I think that with all the search engines out there, and the way they are presented, I just feel that for getting all upset about it, it surely shows how sad you must be.. Why do you care so much for the face of a seach engine!?
I am pretty sure, nothing will happen and it is just so that the website gets more hits. I have only used it a maximum of 10 times in my life, and I will never give them the satisfaction of a hit from my computer!

Thanks for reading.
Pete.

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous theShivers said...

Ask Jeeves has a non-techie persona that some of us want - the internet is a big place, and when you want to ask a question, where else to go but to a friendly face?

Keep Jeeves!

 
At 3:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

w00t! Save him, I give all female employees of ASK.com oral pleasure if they don't let Jeeves go..

 
At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a rubbish idea - When i first started to use the Internet - Jeeves helped me to understand the complexities of the Search Engine. A friendly face and warm smile when you ask..... Straightforward answers and a snazzy dresser to boot.

Don't kill Jeeves - we Love him

 
At 5:29 AM, Blogger MadMondo said...

Who's this anonymous guy or girl? He sure is a prolific poster (80+)and a bit bi-polar in pov if you ask me. A course in anger management might help too.

Peter has a good point (the publicity stuff - really not so sure about the pervert bit) but it can't all be about going for the sympathy vote.

However, as DriverChris pointed out to me recently Ask Jeeves does capture some of the traits of the old butler.

Just don't let him be replaced by the the Crazy Frog.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Alice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger Alice said...

We just posted a piece on this on our site.

RealTechnews.com

Good luck!

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous is the majority of folks on the internet who don't have a stupid blog or webpage they want linked to.

Most of those folks don't give a damn about Jeeves, either. I do care, I say he needs to go for the good of humanity. The bloggers need to be taught a lesson. Thank you.

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you Jeeves-lovers realize there is already too few of you to make a difference... They want to increase traffic...so the sum of all the Jeeves-lovers isn't satisfactory for the owners of the site. You all can have a little crusade here and it won't mean squat.

Anyway if they figure out they screw up they can always change it back. Big deal!

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They need to give Jeeves a proper send-off. Like they just did with the Smurfs:

http://mediachannel.org/blog/?q=node/1372

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger ryan said...

i will never go to ask.com again if jeeves is gone. it's a matter of familiarity; without jeeves, ask.com is just another random search engine.

 
At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know who you are - I'm pretty sure you are craig smith but you're may be a little too articulate for that. You might on the other hand be Marcos Sorensen coz you seem to have access to a lot of AJ creatives. Come on - don't be shy! I'm pretty sure they're grateful for the publicity!

 
At 4:14 AM, Anonymous ramtrax_2k2 said...

sorry to read about the butler's troubles but : que sera sera

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as another former jeeves employee, I think this blog is silly. jeeves and the company ask jeeves, inc no longer exist in any meaningful way as it stands. it is part of a conglomeration and is beholden to other interests. they are now a sad underling to IAC which pushes terrible crap like home shopping network and ticketmaster on the public. the sale of the company is the true death of jeeves. so who cares now? better they should remove the butler and not pretend it is the same company it was before.

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is really nerdy!

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think this is a great example of Stockholm Syndrome. keep up the good work.

 
At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE Jeeves! He was my first search engineer -- so easy to use, so comfortable, just ask him a question, no messing with trying to figure out good search words. I always felt like I was interacting with Jeeves, like we were on the same side. (I had the same comfortable feeling with Mama from Ragu and often thought about getting Mama and Jeeves together, although they'd both have to accommodate a bit.

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

forget jeeves, he is a second rate brand identity...jeeves smeeves.

 
At 1:12 AM, Blogger Christiano Jabur said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor pitiful folks. This is one of the saddest things I've ever not cared about. Think about what people like you might accomplish if you ever found something meaningful by comparison to do like maybe having a blog dedicated to keeping track of the number of armpit hair follicles you might have on any given moment in time. Certainly something everyone would recognize as having a greater socially redeeming value than what you're doing now. Even posting comments like mine on moron-o-blogs like yours seems downright ascetic by comparison.

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger pablo said...

good idea!

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Jeeves said...

Hey this is Jeeves... umm, not the butler, but a Jeeves nonetheless. I'll be honest, I love the Jeeves character and all, I mean... Jeeves and Wooster... seriously man! But see my deal isn't with the Jeeves character, its more with the Search Engine. If the company really wants to do something to help the engine, tell them to work on the engine, not on marketing. Whatever, thats just my lil tidbit. But what do I know... I'm just another Jeeves.

~Jeeves

 
At 4:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose Jeeves is just not PC enough ? If he had been a green,one legged lesbian axe murderer from Mars it might have helped?

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use google and teoma when I need AJ result, can't stand that buttler so do not use AJ directly. Besides, AJ does have to pay royalties to use Jeeves character, letting it go may actually have some business sense. There are markets over there where users do not care if Jeeves is a green one-legged marian, like Japan (ask.jp) and trading 100% of US devoted buttler fans for 1% of japanese search market may not be a bad idea. US users, you may want to look at the world map sometimes.

 
At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the US/UK people are concerned about the US/UK sites which form the vast bulk of Jeeves users. Of course it would make sense to try a different approach to other countries. But in the two where the butler is wildy popular, why remove him??

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can make a case the butler is "wildy popular" anywhere? I mean, it's just the mascot of a third-rate search engine.

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

It's a face that most people know, I think they should concentrate more on their content than cosmetics

 
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At 12:43 PM, Blogger Sue Hyams said...

Well I want to save Jeeves so I'll tell people about this. Such a fine chap cannot be retired!

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree to this campaign

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Jeeves said...

Thank you for the support. But I was given my pink slip today.

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Jeeves! I solemnly swear not to use Ask.com and not to recommend it to any of my students and colleagues if the company kills Reginald Jeeves, the only human face on the Internet (I am talking search engines here). I'll just use Google instead, they are not evil...

 
At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Jeeves is forcibly retired then I shall google. I don't find the other search engines as much fun, but it was Jeeves that brought me to Ask and if he goes I go. I speak for my family as well and that is 30 of us.

 
At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11th Feb 2006: I've just clicked here from the BBC article on this morning (reading from the U.S.-EST) and I find myself dismayed at the truth as finally confessed to as to why Jeeves is being run off-porn. That's right, porn searchers will be offended by having to ask stuffy ol' Jeeves to hunt down pic/text. Don't take my word for it, go to the article for yourselves. Crikeys, what a lot of evil going on today! Makes me think the owners of ask are in so deep with their self prostitution that they can't see filth anymore. (What now, they'll track me down to sue me for saying they are prostituting themselves when they sacrifice good clean fun for the most filthy of lucre-money earned from porn?)

 
At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask Jeeves has been the only search engine I use. I enjoy asking the "know everything" butler. Without Jeeves I may as well pick another search engine such as Google or Yahoo.

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous A Gener said...

Whoever made this decision needs to go back to marketing school. Anyone up for a sweep-stake on how many more days these peoples' careers will last?

 
At 1:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also Italy newspaper writes about Jeeves. And Italy too, wants Jeeves work.

 
At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice futurepost. Hopefully by September 2006 everything will be back to normal with everyone's fav butler on screen.

 
At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

September 30, 2006

Enough said

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The date on top of the post is Saturday, September 30, 2006!

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Napfisk said...

This is clearly not the decision of Jeeves himself. He would never open his private quarters to the world like that and send us an email to get rid of us.
This thing is staged and I've exposed this heinous vulgarity on my own blog.
We have to stop this. Massive email campaings are on their way!

 
At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't retire Jeeves we need you!

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

heyy look ... jeeves is like my best friend/and jeeves is my best friends best friend.. soo if he leaves im gonna freak out .. plus everytime i have hard homework I always go on his site .. he has a lot of good sites and hes cool .. im not gonna let him retire ... theres gonna be a jeeves webstie whether you like it or not >:( we need him like a fat kid needs cake !! Jeeves good luck .. i really hope you stay buddy <33

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves buddy you stay here i need you too get through college and google doesnt go directly to the sites and stuff its all junk .. i need jeeves because i dont have time too search through junk .. when i could go on jeeves and get the work dont fast so i can live my life free without any work ..

 
At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once upon a time I worked at Ask Jeeves.

I came there for what will probably seem a silly reason, I wanted to help build the Star Trek computer. The butler actually did seem to understand plain English. When he was asked "Do female animals have orgasms?" he didn't pop up every sex site on the net, he served up a report on the topic (They're not sure). I wanted to know how to do that. To me, training people to think in terms of keywords is not only limiting, it's also one more corrosive influence on language skills. Jeeves trained people to ask questions in full sentences. The more focused and grammatically correct the question was, the better the results of the search. You could say he encouraged people to think about what they wanted to know in a fuller, more coherent way than keywords can.

Jeeves isn't like that any more and hasn't been for a long time. He sold his soul for money. It happens to a lot of us, and who can blame his owners? He would have died as a brand a long time ago if they hadn't. He died as a human face for search a long time before that.

I say let the guy go. He was a cool idea that was corrupted to the point of cheesiness, and then reduced to a figurehead. Ask.com is no more than a keyword search engine. It gives much better results than it used to, and it's a decent alternative to Google, but Jeeves isn't there any more. Let Bertie have him back. I don't know about Wodehouse, but I can't say I'd be thrilled if people remembered my creation as a cheesy cartoon character rather than as Bertie's butler.

I think you're doing this for good and noble reasons, and I admire the effort. I wish ya luck, even if I disagree.

Erin
(raggedrose at yahoo dot com)

 
At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Jeeves said...

"Valet? Butler? Well, really. This is too much. One has to protest. The correct term is 'an English Gentleman's Gentleman', if you don't mind!

It would also be most preferable, to not be discussed in the third person, nor indeed in such a protagonistic manner. Disgraceful behaviour, if I may say so. Simply not done. Now if you'll excuse me for the moment, I have matters than require my undivided attention ..

 
At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

Jeeves is what keeps AJ original. He was the first search engine I used, and these days I split time between him and google. They are both useful for different reasons. Google has the most good results, however Jeeves does a better job of making the good sites the engine finds (which are slightly fewer) and putting them at the top, rather than making us hunt for them like google. But my favorite part of Ask Jeeves is eeing how they've got Jeeves dressed today! It's always a nice funny thing to see! Now that Jeeves is gone, I think my search engine useage is going to migrate even more towards Google, as ask.com doesn't know the meaning of the word "fun" anymore.

 
At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Watson could hire the butler...check it out at www.ajobforjeeves.com

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just realized Jeeves is gone and I miss him!

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may or may not be obsessed with Jeeves. I miss him and WHEN, not if, but WHEN he comes back, he should get a grill. It would be great for business and attract all kinds of new customers. Jeeves was and IS my best friend, minus Tereza from the plane, and he helped me so much through my life. He's great and it's a shame what has been done to him. He is a connoseiur and always will be. Let's get him back!!!!

 
At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was devastated when I found out they were giving Jeeves the ax! Without Jeeves, "ask" is just another boring old search engine - yawn!!!! I loved logging on to ask jeeves on holidays to see what he would be wearing or doing. I'll do anything I can to bring him back. Long live Jeeves!!!

 
At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn straight!
Bring the butler back, I say!

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that he's gone - he was an insult to the amazing Wodehouse character.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Malcolm Z said...


Ask Jeeves a Question forever!

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, dear sir, are a buffoon. Yes, the mascot is gone; but quite frankly,I don't care. And if you honestly have so much spare time on your hands as to type this ridiculous essay, you have absolutely no life.

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous jennieb said...

Save Jeeves? Of course we must!
He's saved me many times! Assignments, presentations etc.
Mind you, do WE really matter?
Again it looks like it's all down to money!
They will do what they want anyway.

If Jeeves goes, so will I, elsewhere!

Jennieb

p.s

To the 'person' who chose to use the word buffoon and called himself 'anonymous'- if you are so uninterested, why pick on someone who is?

Quit the pseudo posh stuff and take a course in English Language (one of mine if you like!)

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring back Jeeves or at the very least, a relative. Miss him.

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Caitlynn said...

I miss Jeeves....

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love jeeves!

 
At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY FRIENDS RELY ON JEEVES TO LIVE GOSH CAN"T YOU SEE WITHOUT JEEVES THE WORLD WOULD DIE

 
At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Max, New Zealand said...

Crap! As one of the last intermittent internet users on the planet Ask Jeeves was one of those websites that I could remember. Admittedly, I Googled the site to find the right web address...only to find it no longer exists! I liked Jeeves and now feel compelled to flex my (limited) consumer muscle to boycott Ask.com! Take that, corporate giant!!

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very sick.

 
At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just heard about this through wikipedia, and I'm honestly shocked that such a thing could happen. Even though I've never been a real ask jeeves user, as you said on your site this was mainly because it was never very easy to use, or clear what the point was, and now it just looks too much like Google, with a really bad logo.

(PS why does the main post say September 30? This date hasn't even happened!)

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why you post your note two weeks ahead?

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask is boring now, and has no noticeable UK orientation. It has no real help guides on its front page, no contact email, nothing. The only contact is the ask kids, and even that is not evident unless you know it is there. I hardly use it now, it is so unfriendly and bland.

 
At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long live the Butler!

 
At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please bring jeeves back! Jeeves is the mascot for ask.com, without jeeves, it isn't ask.com

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves rocks my socks!
say it loud and proud
do your thing!

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeves rocks my socks
say it loud and proud
do your thing

 
At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Jeeves said...

Thank you very much for your valiant efforts on my behalf. I truly do appreciate it. You may have seen pictures of me in my "retirement." These are nothing more than severely doctored pictures of Barry Diller on his vacation, which, incidentally, was paid for with my pension fund.
I don't mean to impose myself on anyone but I would have appreciated notification before I was given the boot. Furthermore, I now understand that there is a faction of people who still want me around. As long as I can still aid people in their quest for knowledge, I will never willingly stand down. When I left the valet-service, I swore to devote my life to helping make web searches easy.
But I digress. I don't want to bore you all with my mundane speech. If I may reiterate, you are all wonderful people for supporting me. A thousand blessings upon you.
Cordially Yours,
Jeeves

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when asking questions it was a lot better when jeeves was there and i am in college so please bring him back

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gawwwd yuu gottah briing jeeves back ! he makes searchiin the iinternet fun! plzz !! =]

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i tink u shud bring jeeeeves back he was an isperasion to sadie and kaylii hu are now named after jeeeves and even have there own lil *jeeeves face*

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Cries over the sudden death of Jeeves

 

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