On a recent episode of the Fair Data Forecast podcast, Alan Morrison interviewed Andrea Volpini of WordLift. The conversation covered Andrea’s history as a semantic web pioneer, WordLift’s enterprise efforts, and a discussion on personal knowledge graphs. As part of that discussion, Andrea was kind enough to discuss the work I have been doing with WordLift to build an anthropological knowledge graph around my own work, including my podcasts and publications.
The reasons for creating personal knowledge are numerous, including the need to grow the visibility of anthropology, but also because, in today’s digital age, personal branding is more important than ever. With the proliferation of social media and online platforms, everyone has the opportunity to establish their own personal brand and build an audience. However, doing so successfully requires more than just creating content and posting it online. You need a strategy for organizing and structuring information about yourself in order to maximize discovery and establish your authority. This is where personal knowledge graphs come in.
What is a Personal Knowledge Graph?
A knowledge graph is a structured representation of information consisting of entities (people, places, topics, etc.) and the relationships between them. The same concept can be applied on an individual level to create a personal knowledge graph. This involves identifying the key “entities” that are relevant to your personal brand – such as your employment, education, creative works, and areas of expertise. You then establish connections between these entities to show how they relate to each other. The end result is a rich web of structured data that provides a holistic view of who you are and what you have to offer.
Why Build a Personal Knowledge Graph?
There are several compelling reasons why individuals should invest time in developing a personal knowledge graph as part of their branding strategy:
Search engines like Google are placing greater emphasis on organizing information in knowledge graph format. Structured data allows search bots to better understand who you are and surface relevant pages when people search for you online. A well-developed personal knowledge graph improves your findability.
A knowledge graph clearly maps out your background, skills, experience, and unique value. This helps establish your authority in your niche by showcasing your depth of knowledge on a subject. Instead of making vague claims, you can point to factual details on your graph.
Beyond factual information, a personal knowledge graph also allows you to share ideas, insights, and opinions. You can use it to publish written content, talks, interviews, etc., establishing yourself as a thought leader.
Your knowledge graph should include connections to other entities – people, organizations, publications, events, etc. This effectively documents your professional network and demonstrates your engagement.
As AI continues to evolve, knowledge graphs will become even more important. Structured data will allow AI agents to understand facts about you and generate custom content. A robust graph future-proofs your personal brand for AI integration.
A personal knowledge graph is never complete. As you gain new skills, experiences, and connections, you can continuously update it to provide an accurate picture of your evolution over time. This allows you to reinforce your brand narrative.
How to Build Your Own Knowledge Graph
Constructing a comprehensive personal knowledge graph takes time, but you can get started in a few simple steps:
- Make a list of all relevant entities – employment, education, creative works, skills, etc. Avoid listing generic claims – focus on factual specifics.
- Consider how these entities relate to each other. For example, connect past jobs to specific skills gained and used in each role.
- Select a suitable platform to host your graph data. I use WordLift, but there are other options.
- Enrich entries with additional metadata – dates, descriptions, evidence like links and documents etc.
- Look for opportunities to link your entities to authoritative external data sources, such as Wikipedia or Wikidata.
- Develop a system to continually update your graph with new information as you progress in your career.
The key is to start simple and iterate. Even a basic graph of your core skills and experience can add more structure. As search engines get better at processing knowledge graphs, taking the time to develop yours now will pay dividends for your personal brand in the long run.
In today’s crowded digital landscape, establishing a distinctive personal brand is vital – but challenging. Knowledge graphs provide a structured framework for organizing facts, ideas, and connections relating to your professional identity. Investing time to develop a robust personal knowledge graph will provide greater discoverability, authority, thought leadership, and future readiness. The effort required is well worth the long-term benefits for your brand and career.