Pando’s ‘Cuda

In case you hadn’t noticed, a very refreshing bi-product has risen from the ashes of the rather acrimonious breakup between TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and his wealth-creating nemesis, AOL. The tech/social news-savvy site PandoDaily, led by former TechCrunch ed-at-large Sarah Lacy (aka @sarahcuda on Twitter), burst onto the scene only a week or so ago and already is a must-follow in my stream.

PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy

Some initially dubbed it TechCrunch II, but I’m finding PandoDaily to be less of a mix of frenetic, short breaking news stories about the latest start-ups to land notable VCs’ millions or the coolest new apps and gadgets. Ms. Lacy offers a more thoughtful take on the issues swirling around the whole media-tech-social-finance ecosystem.

The jury of course is still out, but based on the posts emanating from the keyboard of the seasoned Ms. Lacy, PandoDaily is destined for greatness — which today means influence.

Google chief Larry Page

Take for example her post today. It delves a little deeper into the whole Google-Twitter-Facebook smackdown wherein Google finds itself fending off allegations that it has gamed its vaunted organic search results in favor of its own socially generated content.

Search Plus Your World (or SPYW for the digital cognoscenti) supposedly surfaces Google+ postings to the exclusion of those generated relevantly from Twitter or Facebook.

“I’ve heard from several Googlers who are embarrassed and unhappy with the company’s silence the last two days as the core of the company’s values have been called into question,” Lacey writes.

I mentioned this perniciuous PR problem in a post last week, which prompted a call from Google PR — not about SPYW, but rather to ask me to update the company’s position on some ethically challenged third-party operatives in Kenya hired to build Google’s local advertising business. (I already had.)

Ms. Lacy pegged her post to Google co-founder/CEO Larry Page’s internal “ultimatum” on Friday to fellow Googlers:

“This is the path we’re headed down – a single unified, ‘beautiful’ product across everything. If you don’t get that, then you should probably work somewhere else.”

Ms. Lacy peppers her post with links to Business Insider’s Henry Blodget, Chris Sacca and former TC colleague MG Siegler posting to Pando. She didn’t link to this TechCrunch-posted video interview with Brad Noble on the subject:

She continues:

“The quasi-ultimatum caught our source by surprise and underscores just how important this new direction is for Page. It also helps explain why Google’s PR was so silent since evidence of the Don’t Be Evil toolbar came out yesterday. If this is the future of the company and it flies in the face of Google’s stated values, what can they say?”

Now we know how Ms. Lacy got her Twitter handle . (Hint: it wasn’t derived from her last name.)


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