How Many Personalities Does One Person Need?

I write three blogs, and it’s a bit like having multiple personalities. Okay, not really. But sort of.

Anyway, I mentioned on one of my other blogs that I had to miss an event because of the bicycle race I volunteered to help out with last weekend, linking to a post on this blog. One of that blog’s readers hadn’t realized I had another blog until she followed the link to this blog. She asked me why I have more than one blog, and I thought it was a good question.

So, yeah, I write three blogs: this one, a hashing blog, and a cooking blog. And here are my three personalities. Well, actually, these are my three Twitter avatars (we’ll get to Twitter in a minute):




If you read this blog you pretty much know what Paul’s Thing is about: airplanes, motorcycles, bicycles, observations on politics and current events, books, movies, family & friends & pets. The hashing blog is strictly about the Hash House Harriers, the hare & hounds running club I’ve been involved with since 1988. The cooking blog is straight-up kitchenware, with recipes and photos of meals my wife and I prepare.

When I started blogging in 2004, I ran a big Hash House Harrier information site called the Half-Mind Catalog (the half-mind thing is kind of an inside joke among hashers, as in you only need half a mind to try hashing). I started a single blog on that site and called it (duh) the Half-Mind Weblog. My plan was to blog about hashing, but almost from the start I found myself blogging about things that had nothing to do with hashing, and that led to my decision to set up a new domain,, and split the blog in two … one for non-hashing topics and one for hashing. A couple of years later I started to write about cooking, and that led to the third blog, Crouton’s Kitchen.

My thinking was that readers of Paul’s Thing probably didn’t care to read about hashing and hashers; that the hashers who read the Half-Mind Weblog probably didn’t care to read about pets, motorcycles, or my opinions on current events; I didn’t think either set of readers wanted to read recipes, which is why I spun off a cooking blog, not really thinking it would ever have readers of its own.

So over time I’ve compartmentalized my blogging. This blog, Paul’s Thing, has the largest readership, many of whom are hashers who know that if they come here they won’t read much about hashing. The Half-Mind Weblog is pretty popular among hashers, or so I’m told. And Crouton’s Kitchen, which I originally thought of as my personal on-line cookbook, has developed a small following of its own, so hooray!

When I signed up for Twitter it seemed natural to set up three accounts, reflecting my three blog personalities: @paulwoodford is the one who’s interested in current events and follows a wide range of opinion makers and journalists and comedians; @halfmind is the hasher who posts about hashing and follows other hashers; @cdmenthe is Crouton de Menthe, amateur cook and follower of cooks. And it works great.

But you know what? When I got on Facebook (“I don’t do Facebook” is today’s “I don’t watch television,” and don’t you hate the smug poseurs who say it?), three personalities with three separate accounts and three separate lists of “friends” seemed like too much. So on Facebook there’s just one of me, plain old Paul Woodford, who posts about everything: current events, hashing, cooking. And that works great too.

Which way is best? For now, this way is best for me. Lately I’ve begun to cross-post some Paul’s Thing entries to Daily Kos, a monster blog with a diverse, politically-active readership. So far I’m only posting political, literary, and aviation-related entries there, but I’ve already noticed that my Daily Kos persona is slightly different from my Paul’s Thing persona, which is different from my Half-Mind persona, which is different from my Crouton de Menthe persona.

Usually with multiple personalities, one of them is a serial killer. At least none of mine are stabby. They’re all very nice guys, each in his own way. I aim to keep it that way.

© 2012, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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