Ask Jeeves, what’s Grouper
Whisper is that ASK are about to buy P2P file sharing social software company Grouper - Om Malik, the source of this rumour says "This client will embed Ask Jeeves desktop search, and web search. Ask Jeeves will also be able to show text-ads in this client, making it a possible revenue generator. From what I understand, the client will also have the ability to do search local folders not on your desktop, but also on the folders that are shared by those in your network."
Now, if this pans out, that puts ASK in ownership of Bloglines, the most popular hosted feeds aggregator, and now a cool sounding filesharing app/network. These kinds of purchases are what can set ASK apart from the pack, at least to some extent i think, all they need now is to sort out their brand, and integrate fully with these other services.
When talking about the ASK brand, CEO Steve Berkowitz was wishy washy, to say the least - when Chris Pirillo asked him what he'd like people to call them, he said "whatever you feel happy with", or something very much to that affect.
Not good - really not good. But ASK are almost exciting at the moment, and i hope we start to see them pull some of these strings together into the central picture and capitalize on some of the neat stuff they're into.