Betas Q&A Social Network - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Government // Enterprise Architecture
11:37 AM
Connect Directly
50% Betas Q&A Social Network

Search technology will direct people to experts who can answer their questions. is melding its question-and-answer roots with its existing community of 87 million unique visitors to create a social networking site where users' questions are answered by real people knowledgeable about the topic under discussion.

Currently in beta, the new social network now is available on an invitation-only basis.

"Our roadmap is full of developments that will make this value proposition really sing: leveraging your social network, accessing Q&A while on the go, and more are planned for the near future," said Tony Gentile, senior VP of product and Lisa Kavanaugh, senior VP of technology, in a company blog. "Today is Ask's first step in a multi-pronged strategy to ensure users get fast, concise answers to virtually any question they ask, any time, any place."

For the past year, Ask has worked on its proprietary search engine technology to develop a tool that locates the most relevant response, placing it highest in the results, according to the company. Founded as Ask Jeeves in 1996, Ask today is using its 14-year history of queries to extract questions and correlate responses from sources throughout the web to answer users' questions, Gentile and Kavanaugh said.

"To make our community the most effective, has the ability to route questions to relevant people based on interests and expertise. This means only the right people will be asked to answer a specific question, reducing spam and question fatigue," they said. "Responses from our community will also be indexed and available (depending on level of freshness and relevance) to address future questions posed on"

The website also took the wraps off a new user interface, which it began testing in April. The company now places more emphasis on its questions section and made the Question of the Day available to everyone, said Penny Yao, senior product manager, and Ummair Waheed, front-end application manager, in an Ask blog. The site also improved site navigation and changed the logo.

This is not the first -- or second -- time Ask has revamped its site. Since 2005, when IAC/Interactive acquired the company and dropped the Jeeves character, the site changed three times in three years.

Ask lags far behind other search engines: Google accounted for 62.6% of all June 2010 searches, Yahoo took an 18.9% share, Microsoft accounted for 12.7% of searches, and Ask received 3.6% of queries, according to ComScore's June 2010 results. Only AOL, with 2.2%, received a smaller share of the market.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll