Han Solo Jeeves
Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

As an Ask Jeeves employee, the question I get asked the most (by far) is, “so, are you Jeeves? Do you answer the questions?” Yes, it’s an amusing question…..but by the 250th time, I can confirm it kind of loses its shine. With the release of the new Ask.com this week, that question may change, because we killed off the butler.

The killing of Jeeves was timed with the first day of Search Engine Strategies in NYC, which is the de fecto search conference in the industry, attended by over 5,000 people this time around, all trying to figure out just how the hell to rank higher in search engines. The keynote for the conference was given by the guy who bought our company last year, Barry Diller, and it got heavy press around the orb, with stories in just about every major daily newspaper out there.

We also threw a party on Monday night in a swanky NYC nightclub where the fate of Jeeves himself was finally revealed to the masses. Shrouded by storm troopers and with Star Wars music booming over the sound system, Jeeves’ final resting place is frozen in carbonite, a la Han Solo. Campy, yes. Funny? Definitely. I didn’t see it first hand, as I was in Monroe, LA actually working. Heh. But apparantly, it was quite a throwdown, including some fire-breathing, dancing battlebots, which I am really sad I missed. Videos here:

Video for Dancing Battlebots
Video for Carbonite Jeeves

In my eyes, the new Ask.com launch further cements the notion that we’re really the only major engine out there that is trying to honestly provide a differentiated search experience than…..everyone else. You should really check out our new maps & directions product – it is really impressive. Anyway, go to Ask.com or get more info on everything at the Ask Jeeves blog. I, as usual, like to keep workspeak to a minimum here.

But one more thing. Many people also ask me “what do you actually do for Ask Jeeves?” It then occured to me that I’ve never really said anything about what it is I do for Jeeves. In short, I’m in Business Development. I basically try to set up strategic partnerships for companies to use our search technologies and any other products we offer (of which there are many). Some of the deals I work on take a month, some take eight months. It’s a good and interesting living in an extremely hot business and I’ve been here almost five years now, which is the longest tenure of any job I’ve had since graduating from college in ’94. It’s not easy by any stretch when your competitors are Google, Yahoo and MSN but it certainly doesn’t stop us from winning some good business and the people I work with are superb.

That’s that.