IAC Guides People To Life123.com

    July 29, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Self-service how-to guide and information sites became a little more of a crowded field as IAC launched its collected content site, Life123.com.

As the conversation about Google Knol continues to heat up, another competitor entered the mix. Ask.com’s parent firm IAC launched an aggregation site called Life123, aimed for a similar audience.

We’re not sure of the accuracy of Life123.com’s claim that roughly 75% of Americans experience search engine fatigue. The figure sounds like something to make Mark Twain raise an eyebrow.

If we’re tired of searching for information, we would rather have someone go to the trouble of vetting what’s out there, and serve it up in a neat package. Life123 does this in topics like healthy grilling.

Visitors see an overview of the content available in a Keep It Brief view of the topic. They can drill into the topic by clicking the Learn More tab. Life123 opened with 11 content categories: Beauty & Style, Celebrations, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Money, Parenting & Family, Relationships, Technology, Travel & Leisure, and Work.

The choices seem to reflect what has been noted as a likely shift toward a female-friendly focus in another IAC property, Ask.com. Life123 looks a lot like the outcome of such a strategic shift away to a more specific strategy instead of fighting a hopeless battle for the all-inclusive search market.

SEO types who have flocked to Google’s Knol to drop content and links on that site will have to wait for their chance on Life123. In its alpha launch, Life123 said it will be looking for writers (and paying them), but trying to reach that form leads to a “We’re sorry” page currently.

Looking for human editing of available content, with the intent of someone finding the stories you want out of all the media out there, isn’t a new concept. A couple of centuries ago, people paid others to do newspaper clipping, where the clipper read all the newspapers, cut out the articles of interest, and sent them to the customer.

How-to guides abound on bookshelves, and the current economy lends itself toward promoting more of a do-it-yourself mindset. Life123 may tap that zeitgeist if they manage to get the content and some highly placed search links to lead people to them.