Ask's answer to the local search bonanza
Newspapers may be dying a slow death, but the competition among online heavyweights for those local advertising dollars couldn't be hotter, or more treacherous. Now Barry Diller's IAC jumped into the fray, launching Ask City, a sort of local directory with maps, that hopes to go head-to-head with Google Local, Yahoo Local, and Microsoft's Live Search. Recall that Amazon made a similar play with their A9 Yellow Pages, but was recently forced to beat an ignominious retreat.

Being late to the party has never been a problem for IAC before, and the early reviews are surprisingly good: "I didn't think an online mapping service could keep a clean interface like the one Google Maps has and still add more great features," writes CyberNet. "Ask has done just that with their new Ask City and it is hard to even describe how smooth the site operates." The O'Reilly Radar has a somewhat more complete, if restrained review, which it concludes by simply noting: "Adding all of this to their already excellent multi-point directions, Ask has definitely made a compelling offering."

Can Diller's crew really go toe-to-toe with the geeks out West? You make the call.
Posted by Oliver Ryan 10:03 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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