Housekeeping/Question of the Day: How did you first find TTAK?



Graphical view of an “Instalanche”. I know we are not in TTAG territory in terms of page views, but we are slowly growing.

It has been just under 48 hours since we experienced what is known in the blogosphere as an Instalanche. The Blogfather, Glenn Reynolds of the blog Instapundit linked to our Tennessee Knife Freedom Day post. We had a top-5 day in terms of page views, with more than double what we get on a day I am happy with. The Instalanche accounted for over 1500 direct views on that post alone. It is the second time that one of my posts has grasped the brass ring of blogging.

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48 hour graph of “at a glance” traffic. You can see the bimodal spikes from the TTAG Facebook/Twitter shares and then the Instalanche.

Our greatest day ever came in the midst of our 2013 Blade Show coverage. June 4, 2013 saw 4 original posts, including the 2013 Blade Show Award winners, a write-up on the 2013 Knife of the Year, an unrelated post by me, and one by Robert Farago that was crossposted on the mothership – The Truth About Guns.

That crosspost generated an Instalanche level of traffic. This past Tuesday, TTAG shared the TN Freedom post on Facebook and Twitter which alone accounted for several hundred views in a 3 hour span. I also found the TTAK Twitter feed (@knifetruth) to be useful in driving traffic to the page when my tweets were favorited/shared/retweeted etc.

My point in writing all of this is first to say thank you again for reading and providing feedback. I am trying to build a community here and it seems to be working to some degree. Representatives of the major knife companies, some custom makers we have covered, Doug Ritter of, and other industry players have all dropped by and left comments and interacted with our readers. The more page views I can get, the more that translates into knives to demo and give away, a closer information pipeline to industry types, and other direct benefits to all of you. So thank you for your help in facilitating this.

Which leads me to my Question of the Day:

What first brought you to The Truth About Knives?

For many, like myself, it was through The Truth About Guns. I was a first day reader and saw an opportunity to get an “in” with a group of seemingly fun and interesting guys whose work I had been reading for some time. I submitted my Tormek review, and a couple of years later I find myself Editor. Funny how things work out. TTAG remains one of our primary referral sources here on the knife side of things.

I know that some of you come from referrals from other bloggers. We have received back-traffic from Everyday Tactical Videos and Thrumylens from our posts promoting them. I know that some readers are people I met at Blade, while others are simply friends of mine who are checking in on the site. We get considerable traffic from organic web searches as well. In particular the Will Woods “Truth About Steel/Tantos/Damascus” posts still bring in 15-30 views a day each. Chris Dumm’s Know Your Knife Law series continues to do well as does my review of the Mora Bushcraft.

We live in an interconnected world and the internet shrinks it daily. I have never personally met Glenn Reynolds, my connection comes through his brother who plays in a blues duo with a Fraternity Brother of mine from Kenyon. So we had shared email correspondence on a few occasions prior to my involvement with TTAK. But this tenuous connection might have the effect of bringing a new reader to the blog, who then may start by contributing comments, then maybe submit some writing or enter a contest. This inter-connectivity fascinates me and I have enjoyed learning how to analyze and optimize web presence both here at TTAK and with my fishing guide business Smoky Mountain Gillies.

I hope that this somewhat “inside baseball” post hasn’t bored everyone to death. I am honestly curious as to what brought you here and what keeps you coming back.



  1. Bill J. says:

    Your crazy brother!

  2. PeterK says:

    TTAG brought me here as well.

    1. crndl says:

      me too, totally complementary and mostly a new subject to me, other than the nice mora knife my swedish grandfather gave me when i was 10. keep up the good work 🙂

  3. Cliff says:

    I got here from TTAG. I stay because I find TTAK more useful to me.

  4. knightofbob says:

    Linked from TTAG as well. Keep coming back because I have multiple interests. Even purchased my first Mora because of this site (Companion HD).

  5. Larry says:

    I found it to my liking…..

  6. GC says:

    Sidebar link at TTAG.

  7. SLP says:

    TTAG as well. As a side note, I wasn’t much interested in anything related to knives before I clicked on the sidebar link. Now I visit my local gun shop more for the knives than for the guns …

  8. jlottmc says:

    I, too came in from TTAG, in fact I was eagerly waiting the launch from there. I have more sharp objects than Carter has little pills. I have many interests as you can tell. I read both daily, and probably comment here more than anywhere else.

  9. Mark says:

    I came via a search engine-reading up on Kephart knives in late March of 2013. Saw the pattern, and thought I’d follow the build….sorry if that strikes a nerve! Meanwhile, I looked around and liiked what I saw and have been a fan since!

    1. Project Kephart will be completed. Just probably not until after I attend Murray Carter’s blade smithing school. I just don’t trust my skill and equipment to do the primary grind.

      1. As Napoleon said “ask me for anything except time”. Between running a business, being Mr. mom, testing knives, and writing for the blog I haven’t had time to finish. Not a sore spot because I freely admit my limitations.

        Glad you stuck around anyway.

      2. Terry Warlock says:

        You take as much time as you need, I’m really excited to see the results after working with Murray Carter!

        Came from TTAG, but being from the same area as our fearless editor and enthralled reading about the Kephart Knife and Horace Kephart from his post about the same, I’ve stuck around. Honestly, that one post really kickstarted my deeper interest in knives and now I read TTAK faithfully.

        You’re a busy guy, but keep on keepin’ on dude!

  10. Tom in Oregon says:

    Link from TTAG as well.
    Having great friends in the business, and working in the business keeps my interest.

  11. Cubbie says:

    TTAG as well. I appreciate the honest reviews as well as the smaller feel of the site. You’re doing a good job, Clay.

  12. matth says:

    i found TTAK
    looking for a review on the kiku folder i think …and i kept coming back

  13. AW1Ed says:

    TTAG. And because of this site a ZT 0350TS lives in my pocket.


  14. JamesB says:

    TTAG for me as well, but the timing was great. My interest in knives was starting to really take off when I found TTAK. The information presented here is good and I keep coming back. Thanks for the effort.

  15. Roger says:

    Came from TTAG. I just like the atmosphere here more though. TTAG gets toxic at times and I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve commented on TTAG since I came here.

  16. Sam L. says:

    I’m not sure how I found this site; not TTAK, likely some other website, but looks like my first comment was 4/29/13. I knew it was pretty early on.

  17. I_Like_Pie says:

    I was looking up a new source for cheap mora knives to give out as gifts and your post showed up in the google search.

    I thought to myself “about time someone did this!”

    I thought that it was odd that the truth about cars was to dispel the payola type bias that the car mags were receiving as puppets for the auto industry.
    and that the truth about guns was created along the same guise.

    What is the truth about knives trying to do other than talk about cool knives and generally follow the industry?

    1. Terry Warlock says:

      The nice thing about the knife community is that generally it is smaller and has a more direct line to the craftsmen or manufacturer’s ear, what with the big forums like Bladeforums, Bushcraft USA, etc. Because of this, in my experience, the fakes and bullshitters are outed pretty quickly, and the “Truth” part of the site comes into play more by shedding light and education and less on exposing shysters.

      Discovering the capabilities of products is certainly something this site does, though, and there aren’t nearly as many knife review sites. Then there’s the truth about knife laws and how idiotic they are in much of the country, and just general exposure to the world of knives that often takes the backseat to firearms in general. And there’s also something about knives that is mostly divorced from the firearm biz: the fact that knivemaking still has a direct line to craft and skill and less a program on a CNC machine (in a lot of cases). Learning about the process of knifemaking is really cool and way more direct than firearms, and there’s a lot of that thrown around here.

      At least that’s my take on the site and why I still come here 🙂

      1. Thanks to Pie for the cause for philosophical reflection, and thank you Terry for your kind words and explanation. You made many points that I plan on making myself in an upcoming post articulating TTAK’s editorial mission.

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Housekeeping/Question of the Day: How did you first find TTAK?

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