July 19, 1999
Jeeves, the smug-looking cartoon butler who hosts the interactive Ask Jeeves Web site, has all the answers. Whether you're looking for the best seafood restaurant in town or a diagram of the human digestive system for your child's science project, this site will point you where you need to go.
Obviously, Jeeves isn't a real person, nor is there a team of smarty-pants researchers waiting to receive and answer your e-mail (like at Jeeves' counterpart, Answers.com). The answer to Web users' increasing frustration with search portals, which turn up many unrelated results to keyword searches, Jeeves is a robot that reads and interprets questions, consults several portals, then rattles off several dozen possibly related Web sites in a variety of categories. The results are surprisingly accurate and often turn up sites you might not find otherwise.
The especially fun part of the site is watching other peoples questions flash across the screen How do you make homemade paper? What will my 401(k) be worth when I retire? then seeing Jeeves' answers.
- by Stacey King