Ask Sending Jeeves To Retirement

    February 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The oft-rumored removal of the iconic butler Jeeves from the search engine has arrived, with the well-dressed embodiment of discreet and exemplary service contemplating his post-search engine life.

Not everyone gets a website devoted to their retirement, but old Jeeves has been the public face for the Ask Jeeves search engine for over a decade. IAC head Barry Diller, whose resemblance to the butler has been noted in some circles, said in 2005 Jeeves would be put out to pasture.

Visitors to the Jeeves Retirement site can peruse the butler’s office, click on a few Flash objects for fun, and suggest how the long-serving butler can spend his retirement. Star Wars fans should appreciate the “Space Odyssey” option, where Jeeves notes he will “have to stay clear of bounty hunters and carbonite” while playing tourist “in a galaxy far, far away.”

Why the retirement? Jeeves noted in his “retirement email” that “when you come to Ask Jeeves these days, you’re not really asking Jeeves anymore…you’re searching Ask.”

The retirement promotion also gives Ask some build-up to SES New York, where Diller will deliver the keynote speech to open the conference. As part of the keynote, Diller is expected to unveil the next version of the Ask search engine.

Chris Sherman at Search Engine Watch posted an overview of the genesis of the butler and the search engine. Sherman recounted that Jeeves was the first Internet character to float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, as one of the many huge balloons that wind their way down the parade route.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.