The SFGate explains the layoff news and the new focus on women. In the abstract there’s something interesting about the focus on a female audience and a potential market opportunity. Unfortunately, the reality is probably that Ask and its many innovative products (e.g., Ask 3D, Ask City) are probably beginning a decline into the abyss.
Danny Sullivan has a thoughtful obituary and a roundup of some of the reactions.
This is a time of structural change in the search industry for marketers and consumers. Ask will be gone. Yahoo may be gone or absorbed by Microsoft. Will those events, if they come to pass, lead to new opportunities and innovation or a kind of “calcification” of search for the foreseeable future?