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Oct 25, 2018

Do you ever wonder how many experts there are online? Probably not. Its one of those geeky things I think about it when I am out and about. But I digress. If I wanted to find an expert, how would I go about it? More than likely, I would look for people who write about whatever they are an expert in. Hmm…

Typically at the bottom of a white paper or an article is a section where the writer is credited.

  • When I do a search for “about the writer” on Google I get 56,000,000 results.
  • When I search for “about the author” on Google I get 377,000,000 results.
If there are that many articles (or ebooks?) online, I should be able to find an interesting subset of “experts” writing about whatever I am recruiting for at the moment. Hmm… I wonder how many programmers are writing articles? Here are a few examples of what I found when I searched for java programmers who have written books (or articles or whitepapers).

Search string I used –>“about the author” java programming

  • Joshua Bloch is chief Java architect at Google and a Jolt Award winner.
  • Dennis Sosnoski is the founder and lead consultant of Seattle-area Java consulting company Sosnoski Software Solutions, Inc., specializes in J2EE, XML, and Web services support. His professional software development experience spans over 30 years.
  • Venkat Subramaniam, the founder of Agile Developer, Inc., has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Search string I used –>“about the writer” “systems analyst -intitle:jobs

  • Before joining BCG, Choi worked for a major systems integration company as a systems analyst and led various operation efficiency improvement projects.
  • Antonica was raised in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University. Spent time in the corporate world as an Information Technology Consultant and Systems Analyst.

I must admit that I got some mixed results with this strategy. Sometimes I hit paydirt, but more often than I would like, not so much. So, I switched tactics a bit and used the wildcard, and my results were somewhat better, but um, not really.

Search strings I tinkered with:

  • “about the writer” “software developer”
  • “about the author” “software developer”
  • “more from this writer”
Hmm… I was beginning to get a bit frustrated, then I switched tactics a 3rd time and began to like what I saw. I changed the profile of who I was looking for, and instead of technical people, I started looking for executives.

Search strings I tinkered with:

  • “about the writer” executive
  • “about the writer” CEO | founder | VP
  • director.of | vice.president.of medical
So in retrospect, this technique is really good for finding execs who have written articles and white papers. When I looked for techies, I had the problem of finding results that talked about how software would write a specific code (or something like that), so I was getting programmer lingo instead of what I wanted. (Make sense?) Just as an FYI. Hmm… my spider sense is tingling which lets me know, I can still improve this Google search. So, I try this.
  • about.the.writer ( | machine.learning
  • ( | data.scientist
  • (director.of | vice.president.of medical ( |
  • about.the.writer (CEO | founder | VP) ( |
Bingo! Most of the results I get are what I need to find such folks. Pronouns are the key to finding key talent this way. Go figure. I am curious as to what you could do to refine this search even more. Let me know? I look forward to your feedback.

Happy Hunting!


P.S. I forgot to go into how to automate this! (Duh!) Simply save your search string as a Google alert and get updates as they hit Google’s database. Easy-peasy, sourcing squeezy.

P.P.S. Okay, after this, I’m stopping. A few more suggestions.

  • about.the.trainer ( | machine.learning
  • about.the.presenter ( | electrical engineering
  • about.the.speaker ( | software.development
  • about.the.instructor ( | software.development
  • about.the.lecturer ( | software.development
  • about.the.teacher ( | software.development
  • about.the.keynote ( | software.development
P.P.S. Okay, I lied. One more thing! You may have noticed that sometimes I put phrases in quotes and at other times, I separated the phrase with periods. In either case, the search works. I stumbled across this technique so many years back, and it stuck. So, there you are.