SourceCon CSE Challenge: Let the Voting Begin!

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Jun 21, 2011
This article is part of a series called Q/A.

Last Friday was the last day for submissions to participate SourceCon’s first Challenge of 2011 — to create a Google Custom Search Engine that would return results with profiles, resumes, and contact information. Today, we announce to you our five contestants who will each be competing for three finalist slots in the quest to win a trip to SourceCon this fall in Silicon Valley.

First, let’s answer a couple of questions you may have at this point:

  1. Why create a Google CSE? This isn’t like other Challenges in the past. True, it’s not. Google CSEs are pretty powerful tools for sourcers to use to help narrow down  and filter out unwanted search results. Because of this, we thought it would be a great way for sourcers to not only demonstrate their ability to create complex yet accurate search strings, but also to have a very useful tool as a result of their participation in the contest. So even if  contestants don’t win the Challenge, they still “win” because they now have a handy resource with which to do their job.
  2. Why two rounds of ‘competition?’ Why are we voting first? The reason for having two rounds of voting is to give you, the sourcing community, the opportunity to evaluate your peers’ work first. By voting for the CSEs that you think are great, you are putting your stamp of approval on the work they’ve done. Think about it this way: when you are conducting candidate searches, don’t you normally run some of your search process by recruiting partners or other sourcers to see if they have any thoughts on how you can make it better or more efficient? This is really no different — by letting the community first decide which CSEs they  like best, we are letting you have the first word. And by having two rounds of judging, we can ensure that this does not just become a popularity contest or a vote of who has the biggest network.
  3. What’s the final judging criteria? Patience, young grasshoppers. Let’s get through round 1 first!

And now, without any further ado, I present your five Challenge participants, in random order:

Congratulations to these individuals for taking the time to craft a CSE and for getting it submitted on time.

For the first round of competition, the sourcing community — that’s you! — will be voting for the best custom search engine. Here’s how this will work:

  • Each participant’s custom search engine is embedded on a page here on (hint: click a name above). There is a brief description of the search engine along with a ‘thumbs-up’ icon just below the search.
  • Take the CSEs for a test-drive. Ask questions of its creator for best use. If you like a search engine, give it a thumbs-up. (There is also a thumbs-down but we will not be counting those) You can vote for any and all of the CSEs; however, you will only be able to vote once for each.
  • At the end of the day on June 30 we will tally up the votes and determine the three finalists. Following that, we will begin round 2 of judging to determine the overall winner.

We wish all of our participants good luck! Promote your CSE to your networks, have your peers check them out, and we hope to see you in the Final Three!

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