A couple weeks ago I posted that Ask.com butler Jeeves had been given the pink slip and his transition out of the search market had begun. Well the supporters have come out to insist he be reinstated, saying he brings warmth and humanity to the internet.
An unidentified former Ask employee has started the Save Jeeves blog, which has already gotten international coverage in the Globe and BBC and touching comments from supporters, including this mother of an 8-year-old:
We all “employ” Jeeves nearly all of the time!
He is the human face of the internet and one of the most recognisable company logos of the modern net. He adds a degree of personality, humour and warmth to the impersonal internet search.
Axing him would be the biggest mistake that Ask could make. Without Jeeves I don’t see any reason why I or my family would opt to continue using the site.
My little girl often says “Jeeves will know Mummy”, can you honestly imagine her building that level of attatchment to the impersonal Google or MSN search engines? She and I are surely representative of the future of the internet?
The whole point of the internet is choice is it not? I choose humanity and warmth.
Ask’s European VP Marketing, Rachel Johnson, confirms this, saying that the company is currently researching the meaning of Jeeves and, “There’s a lot of passion about Jeeves…The passion is for the humanity he is adding,” said Ms Johnson.
There are too few expressions of humanity on the internet. I know you can find them, but in general our surfing is anonymous, interacting with forms, links, commands… In my early DM days I had a great teacher for direct mail. He told us, “Always make it look like a human being touched it.” Are your site and your communications doing that? Does it have personality? Is a human being visible somewhere?