We at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY just love asking questions — Burning Questions, Stupid Questions, and questions like Can This Career Be Saved? Lately we’ve been wondering what to make of several Internet sites that let you pose questions in ”natural language” (e.g., ”What is the meaning of life?”) to their so-called experts. Are these sites competitive with EW? To find out, we put several of them to the test.
IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?
Most sites, including AskJeeves.com, shot back videos and reviews pertaining to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. ELibrary.com spat out a transcript from Sen. Jesse Helms’ March 30 discussion about the U.N., in which, oddly enough, he used that exact phrase.
WHAT’S ELLE MACPHERSON’S HOME PHONE NUMBER?
Even Jeeves was confused, offering up a few supermodel sites, plus the Alabama (not Australia) yellow pages. ELibrary came up with Macpherson’s number — Elizabeth Macpherson, that is, from Alberta, Canada.
Experts.com, which has a roster of human authorities, passed on the question altogether. The best response: ELibrary delivered a transcript from Bill Clinton saying he’d just gotten back from Bangladesh, where he had talked about milk with the Women’s Dairy Cooperative.
WHY DID MOVIES SUCK THIS SUMMER?
Bingo! Mugomilk.com sent back an analysis so smart EW could have run it verbatim (”Do you suppose Nostradamus predicted the calamitous string that started with Ridley Scott’s overrated Gladiator?”). Expertcentral.com, another site with real-life authorities, emailed us an analysis from movie expert Heather Vale that was sublime in its thoughtfulness (”The Hollywood machinery has become too suffocating”). AskJeeves, meanwhile, blithely suggested we link to Suck.com. Which, as an answer to our query, sucked.