Yawn of the Dead: Ask Tries to Become Relevant

I am profoundly underwhelmed by all the buzz Ask is getting lately.

So they canned Jeeves. Good, that whole shtick was silly from the get go.

Gary Price, Ask’s Director of Online Information Resources (which may one day join Plaxo Privacy Officer in the job name hall of fame), has a good summary of why Ask thinks it can become relevant. Gary admits that Ask is a work in progress, but sets forth some things that he believes will give Ask an advantage in the search engine sweepstakes.

Granted, some of that stuff, like the answer engine concept, is interesting. But Henry Blodget nailed it again today when he set forth his version of one of my core themes:

My theory about the search business, moreover, is not that “users will immediately switch to the best search engine,” but that users will use whatever search engine they are used to using–unless the gulf between that search service and the leading search service becomes so great that it cannot possibly be ignored.

Chris Sherman has nice things to say about the new look, feel and performance, but the fact remains that Ask has a small market share in a pretty mature space.

I’ll give Ask a try, but from where I sit, I don’t see the revolutionary advance it would take to get significant user migration.