[ Essay ] Lessons from Pandodaily and TechCrunch

Following TechCrunch’s debacles, ex-senior editor Sarah Lacy has started a new tech news site, PandoDaily. She assembled other TechCrunch alumnus, which made PandoDaily (almost) TechCrunch 2.0. I stopped reading TechCrunch altogether.

TechCrunch still has larger resources that allow their own events and more staff writers. But they did lose their core essence, the “Fuck You” attitude (observed by Fred Wilson) that is now seem to be inherited to PandoDaily. I don’t want to read another report on the next version of Mac OS or how much market share Yahoo has been losing. I want to read what’s behind—in other word, Why? I don’t care What, Where, When, Who, or How. Give me a good story, told by a real human, with his or her insights. Ultimately, I don’t even care if that story is true.

While I read an article, I hold up my mental antenna and if the article contains something that resonates with it, that story is true enough for me. No “evidence” is required. Anyhow, there is no way I can verify if an incident actually happened, unless I saw it with my own eyes. Much of storytelling depends on the storytellers themselves: Sarah LacyMichael AarringtonMG Siegler. I love seeing things from these people’s point of view. Biased? Extreme? Weird? All yes. Wrong? Maybe. Who cares.

But boring? No.

And I believe there lies the secret for news media to survive. Can we meet a real person with her own voice? Forget neutrality, which never existed. Neutrality is transparency (originally told by Joi Ito, I think). Give us real human beings with their own ideas, and leave it to us listeners to decide if we take their messages or not.

Until TechCrunch’s imposition, I thought I wanted to read (tech news). Now I know better: I wanted to see (writers). In the end, all I need is the campfire storytelling experience, continued from the beginning of the human race. We are just doing it thousands of kilometers apart.