Ask.com Debuts AskCity

Dec 05, 2006


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Ask.com, a search destination and wholly-owned business of IAC/InterActiveCorp, has introduced AskCity, a new local search service that integrates local information on the web with an "all-in-one" user interface and search tools. AskCity represents a cross-IAC integration, leveraging content from several IAC properties, including Citysearch, Ticketmaster and ServiceMagic, among others. Also integrated into AskCity are content and functionality from non-IAC properties, including Fandango and Opentable. The new features of AskCity include the ability to search four verticals in a single place: AskCity integrates businesses/services, events, movies, maps, and directions in a single interface (Business, Event, Movie, and Map and Directions).

AskCity is presented in a three-column format to allow users to search, organize, share, and transact all on one page, without screen reloads. The search results are displayed in the center pane and each of those results is integrated onto the map in the right pane. The left pane hosts the search box and a series of links that let the user refine results. AskCity offers broad and deep local content, including: data acquired through direct partnerships with brands like Active, Citysearch, Eventsource, Fandango, MuseumTix, Opentable, Reserve America, ServiceMagic, Ticketmaster, TicketWeb, TripAdvisor, StepUp, Wcities, and others. AskCity incorporates direct access within the search results to transaction sites, including Ticketmaster and TicketWeb (to purchase event tickets), Fandango (to purchase movie tickets), Opentable (to reserve a table), and ServiceMagic (to arrange an appointment for a contractor or other service). Users can narrow searches by zip code and even neighborhood. AskCity "bounds" the area graphically on the associated map for visual reference.

Search with suggestions automatically generated by AskCity to narrow or expand searches by neighborhood, cuisine, or by movie genre, to name a few. Use these suggestions to iterate queries or to explore. Search results can be saved on the search results pane with the "Pin It" link. This allows users to continue searching (without losing pinned results) and save additional results from subsequent searches. In effect, this allows users to create an itinerary to plan a date or run an errand.

(www.ask.com)