I think it makes little sense to have yet another post on the launch of AskCity. After all, every single SEM blog I read has already posted lists of features, screenshots, etc. Instead, I would like to point you to the best posts (at least in my opinion):
“The reason that AskCity has such good content is that they’ve taken it from CitySearch, another service owned by parent company IAC. CitySearch has ten years of local content, and that is now deeply integrated with Ask’s maps product.”
Search Engine Journal has a great overview of all the features with a few nice screenshots:
“Using a ‘one click’ technology merged with Java and Ajax, AskCity keeps the user inside one browser window while simultaneously searching, sifting through local business listings & reviews, customizing maps or their own navigational mashups, while also planning a calendar of local events or putting together directions based upon a set schedule or local itinerary.”
Greg Sterling posts on Search Engine Land:
“While there a couple of novel features, mostly having to do with mapping, it’s the packaging of the features and content into a holistic proposition that makes this a very nice offering. Despite a number of flaws it deserves to be considered in the top tier of local search sites out of the gate.”
I hate to be the pessimist but with a local search market share of just 3%, AskCity is unlikely to make much of a difference for Ask.com, at least in the short run. Most people will never know it exists. Google and Yahoo (and maybe Microsoft) are able to gain significant market share beyond search because of the amount of traffic they are getting. With Ask’s share in the search market lingering at just under 6%, great services like AskCity might just go unnoticed.