Barry, You Listened!

Well, once in awhile, a prediction comes true. Jeeves, Ask.com’s butler is retired, but Barry Diller is finally trying to get the Ask.com acquisition to really pay off for IAC. See the news below from MarketingVox, and then see my words to Barry from April 2005.

From MarketingVox, November 2006:

InterActiveCorp. Chairman and CEO Barry Diller said the company will
unveil a new local information service Dec. 4 that combines the
functions of Ask.com, CitySearch, Evite, and Ticketmaster.

“We are coming out with AskCity, which is our local service,” Diller told
the Reuters Media Summit in New York. “It integrates maps, integrates
events, integrates all of these different attributes that we have got
in the best thing you will be able to use in a city to do things.”

Ask.com is looking to stay several
steps ahead of far larger search rivals Google, Yahoo and Microsoft by
innovating faster and taking advantage of its stable of web and
e-commerce sites, he said.

From my MediaPost Search Insider column, April 2005:

Almost all of IAC’s properties pivot around local angles, and those
that don’t should either be retooled or dropped. Local-focused
properties include: Citysearch, Entertainment Publications (which
produces the coupon books), Expedia, Hotels.com, HSN, Match.com,
RealEstate.com, and TicketMaster. ZeroDegrees, a struggling social
networking site, could relaunch as a way to bring business
professionals together. Gifts.com could tie in with the Evite social
network to recommend popular gifts by people you’re connected to in
your area. The word “local” isn’t in IAC’s mission statement, nor is
any synonym, but given IAC’s expertise and its dreams for Ask Jeeves,
that should change immediately. Barry, are you listening?

Jeeves, the beloved Ask.com butler, could become the face of local
search if Diller invests in it with the same type of fervor in which he
bid for Ask Jeeves in the first place. Some readers will be skeptical;
this columnist is too. Yet Diller has two assets to exploit: vision and
opportunity.

Barry, next time lunch is on you.