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On the Agenda Today

Today is a unique day. Do you know why? Simple, when else will there be a January 14th, 2008? See, unique isn’t it? ;-)

Here are today’s unique picks:

Bloglines Beefs Up

Before we had Google Reader, the biggest kid on the RSS reader block was Bloglines. While Google has taken that title, away from the Ask.com owned service, Bloglines has been back to the gym recently and added some bulk.

Bloglines has rolled out a slew of new features today, including:

Ask’s Top Search Queries for the Year

We’ve seen Yahoo’s most popular queries this year; we’ve seen Google’s.

AskEraser Elevates Privacy Standard For Search
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Ask.com launched its AskEraser service across all of the search engine’s products, where people can opt to erase their search history with a single mouse click.

Ask.com Gobbles Up Thanksgiving Week

Turkey queries and Black Friday deal searches rate among the places Ask believes its search engine can help the typical person around the holidays.

Compete: Ask, Google Gain In Search

The search engine market share for Ask grew incrementally by Compete’s figures for October, likely due to the heavy advertising being run by Ask’s owner IAC.

Hitwise: Microsoft Slips In Search

Hitwise released this month’s search share numbers and they’re not the greatest for Microsoft. Of course, that’s just one metric firm in one month – we’ll see soon how the others score MSN/Live.com.

Ask Not What Your Marketing Can Do For You…

Ask.com has seen brighter days. It’s one thing when nobody thinks you can compete with Google (Yahoo and MSN have yet to accomplish that), but it’s quite another to lose continually despite all efforts.

Ask.com Ninjas Its Way To Attention

An ad campaign featuring the black-clad shinobi behind the Ask A Ninja videos leads its viewers to special Ask.com Smart Answers and bonus ninja videos.

Ask.com Ad Campaign Associated With Google

Ask.com has gotten a lot of flack over its “algorithm” ad campaign, and it seemed possible that the publicity might hurt, rather than help, the company.  Now one survey has revealed that many people didn’t even associate the ads with Ask.com – instead, they believed those strange and controversial messages were coming from Google.

Ask.com Billboard Brings Up Unabomber

Lighting yourself on fire and running through the streets will get you noticed, but it may not be the wisest move to make.  Still, Ask.com seems determined to repeatedly torch itself, as, depending on one’s point of view, its billboard advertising campaign moves from bad to worse.

Ask.com Billboard Brings Up Unabomber
“Ask.com Billboard Brings Up Unabomber”
Ask.com Billboard Brings Up Unabomber

Ask Found Jesus, But Doesn’t Want To Talk About It

If Ask.com hasn’t gotten much attention because of their search engine lately, they’re at least raising eyebrows through new (and kind of cerebral) ad campaigns. An algorithm that "constantly finds Jesus" but can’t really find itself is beside the point – it’s all about engaging the public and rousing curiosity, says Ask’s VP of marketing.

There have been billboard sightings in New York, LA, and San Francisco – weird billboards with weird sentences and no explanation.
Sentences like:

Ask.com Says It Knows Where Jesus Is
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I have a sense of humor. But a lot of people don’t, not when it comes to Jesus. With that in mind, I think I’d be hesitant (nay, 10-foot-pole distanced) to launch an ad campaign with a Jesus joke in it. Ask.com, it would seem, is just brave enough to try.

Billboards and posters have begun appearing in major metropolitan areas (like New York and San Francisco – most likely because this is riskier in the red states) with the slogan:

Resurrect Jeeves, Ask How Not To Slam Google
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Here’s the thing about boldness: you’d better have the chops to back it up. While Ask.com’s anti-Google guerrilla marketing campaign in London’s Underground was outed in record time, indexing of its own campaign site was even close to a record.

Background

Ads appearing in the Tube encouraged bystanders to fight Google’s "information monopoly."

Submitting Pages to Ask.com’s Search Index

A Search Engine Watch Forums post inquires on the way to get site indexed in Ask.com.

Ask.com’s Webmasters page says that its crawlers go around the web from one link to another looking for significant content.

Ask Gets Smart For Children

Ask.com has added something new to their Smart Answer collection by making the International Children’s Digital Library available as a top-of-page resource for children’s literature-related queries.

The Future of Ask.com

ZDNet’s Donna Bogatin has an interesting interview up with Ask.com CEO, Jim Lanzone. She asks some probing questions, and Jim shares some interesting morsels.

The Mobile And Ask On Phones

Google dropped into bed with Samsung, as did Yahoo when they weren’t announcing deals with Opera and a slew of other firms at the start of the CES event in Las Vegas. Microsoft was busy unveiling its Home Server and decidedly not talking much about mobile, leaving me to wonder one thing: where is Ask.com?

AskCity From Ask.com

Ask.com has taken its existing maps service, combined it with content from parent-company IAC’s CitySearch and Ticketmaster, stirred the ingredients and baked at 400F for 20 minutes. The result? A great new way to search for business, events, movies and maps using a new service called AskCity.

Ask Drives RSS Smart Answers To Europe

As part of their drive to rollout new features beyond the United States as quickly as possible, Ask.com has placed RSS Smart Answers on its European sites.

Ask.com CEO: We Have Best Special Sauce

Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com, recently made some interesting comments to The Guardian’s Kate Bulkley. Lanzone talked about the current state of affairs at Ask, and also spoke about the company’s future. He deserves credit for not giving typical responses that have obviously been polished by the PR department.