Lots of chatter on the Web this a.m. about Christina Warthen (shown here), wife of Ask.com co-founder David Warthen, being indicted by the feds for allegedly evading taxes  on almost $135,000 she made in 2003 while working as a prostitute. I went to Ask.com and searched for "Ask.com prostitute" and the story popped up as the very first hit. Ask just began touting more relevant searches, so I guess there is truth in advertising. Ask's rolling out a big-bucks "Next generation of Ask.com " marketing blitz, including a TV ad campaign, this week. I'll assume Mrs. Warthen's legal woes weren't part of the publicity plan. Still, I hadn't used Ask (or even thought about Ask) since Jeeves was sent packing, so the extra press, though embarrassing, might just pay off. Speaking of payoffs, Mrs. Warthen allegedly used the money to pay her way through Stanford Law School. Naturally, I went to Ask.com and typed in "Stanford Law School prostitute." Mrs. Warthen was the top hit again! Ask and ye shall receive! In this case, it seems everyone gets a bit more than they bargained for.
—Posted by David Gianatasio