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March 30, 2006

Ask Shoots, Scores!

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I consider myself a pretty intelligent person. I can usually tell where people are going with things. But I must admit. I had no idea where Ask was going with its latest blog entry.

I read Ask’s entry entitled, George Mason Fact Guide, and thought to myself, Wait, this is about basketball? What? Don’t tell me Barry re-branded again! I read through the article, learning more than I ever needed (or wanted) to know about the George Mason NCAA basketball team. At the end of the ‘fact guide’ is a postmark telling confused readers to follow the link provided for clarification. Feeling completely out of the loop, I did what I was told, and was brought to a Personal Technology article from WSJ.com entitled, Ask.Com’s New Look Scores Big Points Against Search Rivals.

Ah, I get it. Cleeever.

The article compares Ask’s recent rise in popularity with George Mason University’s NCAA basketball team, which has (apparently – I don’t follow college basketball) surprised everyone in this year’s March Madness tournament, defeating both the reigning champion and touted frontrunner.

The article highlights all of the improvements Ask has made since it’s re-branding – the non-cluttered homepage, better search tools, better relevancy, etc. – and encourages people to give the little engine a shot.

The article is a little too saccharine for my taste, but it has a good moral.

“Google is still great, and I’m not suggesting everyone abandon it. But Ask.com is well worth a try if you want to benefit from some features that go beyond Google. Like the George Mason basketball team, it just may surprise you.

See that. Don’t discount the underdog; he may just surprise you. Aww.

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