Remember Ask Jeeves? He was the butler back in the day who would answer any and all of your most pressing questions. This was in the Stone Age before Google gained dominance over Yahoo, back with searching for things on Nexus Lexus and Alta Vista were still, you know, things you did.
Since Jeeves’ demise in an untimely dumbwaiter accident (still unconfirmed, I admit), we’ve had no one to ask our most pressing questions. Sure, Google can come through in a pinch but the massive search engine responds better to words spliced together than to actual, fully thought out questions. What ever is an inquisitive mind to do?
One site that’s aiming to fill Jeeve’s well-polished shoes is called Answerl. While they haven’t gone live quite yet, I spoke with founder Janice Burnes about what we can all expect when they launch.
First of all, it’ll be free.
So that’s good, because I know most of you aren’t exactly rolling in the dough (yet). Janice tells me that Answerl uses a special algorithm that combs the web in order to answer all of your most pressing questions.
Their bots search publicly available sources and social networks for information and then sorts it based on importance and bring the info all back to you.
And it comes with a searchable archive.
Answerl will also have an archive of previously asked and answered questions, for your searching and perusing pleasure. Honestly, the voyeur part of me is most interested in this part, as I imagine people ask some pretty weird stuff on sites like this.
Why does my cat watch me when I sleep?
How does foot fungus grow?
Where can I buy a used bath towel in Manhattan?
How big is the world’s biggest wart?
Or maybe I’m just weird…
Regardless, those of you who have been quietly mourning the loss of Jeeves to that evil dumbwaiter (by which I mean larger, more powerful search engines, obviously) now have a place to go find answers to all of those pressing questions you’ve been storing up over the past few years.
I suggest you start with that old standby, “What is the meaning of life?” or “Why is the sky blue?” and then drop us an email with the answer. I’m curious to see what they come up with and if their answers can rival Jeeve’s responses to ten year old me asking the same questions.