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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

If Search Engines Were Frat Houses From Movies

I love search engines. I love comedy movies. So let’s have fun putting the
two together. Which search engines are most like some famous movie fraternities?
Yes, there is an Animal House of search!

Google: Lambda Lambda Lambda (Revenge Of The Nerds)

Google As Revenge Of The Nerds

As I pondered how to match search engines to movie fraternities, this one was
easy. How could Google not be like the nerds that joined
Lambda Lambda Lambda
in Revenge Of The
. Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin literally shopped their
technology around to all the other search engines back in the late 90s, only to
get rejected. So they went out on their own, and the nerds won the show. "Those
nerds are a thread to our way of life!

That’s Larry & Sergey up top, by the way — with Bill Gates, Terry Semel and
Jim Lanzone down below, in that order (don’t worry, Jim — you get your own back
further below).

Yahoo: Lambda Epsilon Omega (Old School)

Yahoo As Old School

With Yahoo, the right match-up eventually came to me: Lambda Epsilon Omega
from Old School.
That’s the fraternity started-up by three friends who decide it would be cool to
party again like they did in their college days. Yahoo was the rocking search
fraternity of the past, until Google came along and stole the thunder. So why
not go back to the good old days? Heck, one of Yahoo’s founders Jerry Yang is
even back at the helm!

Pictured is Susan Decker, then Jerry Yang and search czar Jeffrey Weiner (who
was recently interviewed
here, by the

Microsoft: ROTC

Microsoft As ROTC

I struggled and struggled to find the right movie fraternity to match
Microsoft. I even discovered that Wikipedia maintains a

of fictional movie fraternities and sororities and scanned that for
ideas. In the end, I decided that Microsoft has been most like
the college-based military officer training program.

In both Animal House and Revenge Of The Nerds, you see those in ROTC somewhat
interacting with the fraternities. It’s like they’re sort of a fraternity but
not quite there. Microsoft, of course, has embarked on a journey to be the
leading search destination on the web. But it remains new to the challenge,
saddled with still trying to find its own identity (Microsoft MSN Windows Live
Search) and so like ROTC, isn’t quite the same as the search engines (IE
fraternities) that it’s going up against.

You got a better match-up for Microsoft? Let me know in the comments below!

Ask.com: Delta Tau Chi (Animal House)

Ask.com As Animal House

The match-up for Ask.com was easy. Indeed, Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone is a
former fraternity member who inspired this entire post. Jim’s a fun guy who
enjoys a good prank
and treats Ask not just as a job but almost like a fraternity itself, where he
looks out for his other members, the fraternity’s reputation and wants to
attract new members.

Ask generally has the tiniest share of any of the major search engines, in
terms of search traffic — yet it is substantial enough for Ask to still be
counted among the majors. And when many have assumed over the years that Ask
should be squeezed out by the fight between Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, you can
almost picture Jim — like John Belushi in Animal House — rallying his Delta
brothers and sisters that "nothing
is over until we decide it is!

Yes, Ask is the Animal House
of search — and Ask3D
is like Jim Lanzone driving the
Deathmobile through
the parade of the other search engines.

Oh, that’s Jim in the main picture, with
Apostolos Gerasoulis
in the O and some dude that used to work for Ask when it was Ask Jeeves in the

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