How I Solved The SourceCon Challenge

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Feb 14, 2013
This article is part of a series called Q/A.

Editor’s note: Irina Shamaeva is the winner of this year’s SourceCon challenge! She not only spoke at our conference last week but also runs the People Sourcing Certification Program, webinars on all topics sourcing, and leading online sourcing communities: Boolean Strings – the Internet Sourcing Community on LinkedIn and The Boolean Strings Network on Ning. But most of all she loves hands-on sourcing and solving sourcing challenges. We asked her to write up how she solved the challenge. A big, big thank you to Julia Stone for helping put this year’s challenge together!

It was nice of Julia Stone to suggest that solving the challenge was a matter of 1-2 hours! Try looking for big data conferences in the Bay Area; there’s tons of them! 🙂 For a while I was lost in the massive amount of events in the Bay Area around big data, pure data, visualization, urban, etc. etc.

Then I found a John Watson on a site with that name tag that said “Mrbigdata.”

Yeah! That felt right. (Compare with the challenge post to see what I mean.) Then, I followed a rabbit hole for a little bit having found a real John Watson who lives in San Francisco, has a blog and, naturally, is interested in big data. Soon I caught myself doing the wrong thing and just did a straightforward Google search for a “blog”, leading to the correct site: The blog is full of information (most of it useless, here, by design; isn’t it the way real life sourcing goes sometimes?). I had mentioned one of the quotes from the site on twitter, and that lead to an interesting “side” idea exchange.

So, from there it’s lots of rabbit holes but it’s not too bad.

The event page looked right: There’s also a couple of pointers to a twitter account  and to a yahoo account that didn’t lead anywhere as far as I can tell. There was even a yahoo email address but I decided to ignore it.

If you read the challenge, we were looking for “a friend of a friend of John”. One of the tweets pointed to that says “Can’t wait to see my friend Les!” So here it was; the second person in the friend chain is Les.

The Les friend (Leslie Moore) is a follower of the imaginary John Watson:

Leslie Moore has an incredible amount of informational junk on her profile! (Kudos to the challenge authors for their endless creativity.) Leslie Moore is also on twitter; look her up, if you like.

The pinterest site included one lonely useful link – to with the egg:


I didn’t know much about the cool-looking Egg. It’s located in Palo Alto, where my business partner Julia Tverskaya lives. Julia, too, is a former winner of a SourceCon Challenge; but it was too late in the day to call her for extra info, so I continued online. There was a comment for the egg post here: …by ANNA LYDDICKS from …who was the third person and who has this page: “Ask me anything” at so that was it!!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to “ask anything” Irina directly about the challenge, or about sourcing in general.

If anyone has sourcing challenges or projects of your own, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Irina. She’s always open to sourcing projects.

See you in Seattle!

This article is part of a series called Q/A.