Race finishThere's a theory in the world of journalism (and PR) that there are only three things that drive the news - tragedy, controversy and quirkiness. In that order.

And in the online world this has evolved into 'clickbait', headlines that you just have to click on. Smart news websites then serve you up more of the same in the next set of headlines and the next, and before you know it you've spent half an hour gazing at your computer screen. It's all about eyeballs of course, and the news website has just got your eyeballs for 28 more minutes than you'd originally intended, and in the process kept their ad revenue up.

Never let it be said that Total Knife Care operates on the same principles! However... the evidence is in and - we have to say - it certainly backs up the 'controversy' part of the theory.

Over the break we decided to have a look at which were the most popular articles on our blog, The Grind in 2018 and, by definition, which were less compelling reads. As with all statistics, there's every possibility of misinterpretation, but we simply looked at how many people had clicked through each article from our email newsletter, Stay Sharp.

The results were fascinating and showed quite a clear preference, with the top rated article being over eight times more popular than the lowest rated article, and even twice as popular as the third ranked article.

So, what had piqued your collective interest? The top article was our take last February on the controversy surrounding the best way to sharpen a knife, a topic we felt we could contribute to.

In the article 'That old knife sharpening chestnut again', we took issue with another article on Lifehacker which seemed to recommend pull through knife sharpeners. And when we looked again recently at that same piece on Lifehacker, we saw in the comments that there were quite a few other people who did not agree with the conclusions of the writer either.

Coming in at number two was our follow up to a previous item on the sharpest blade on the planet. Like all good movie producers, we'd seen how popular the first article was and decided to do a sequel. If you'd like to refresh your memory, now's your chance...

What is the sharpest blade on the planet?
What is the sharpest blade on the planet II

And coming in at number three, and clearly showing that this is still one of the hottest topics in the culinary world right now, an article we penned back in July all about Competitive BBQ. All Australians instinctively know that barbecuing is competitive anyway, but it's only fairly recently (in Australia, at least) that judges have been appointed and points awarded. And in true Aussie fashion, the Australian teams are now heading over to the US (where competitive BBQ was invented), winning prizes and generally showing them how to do it. Look out for an article soon on The Grind - Competitive BBQ II.

And the least popular article in 2018? Clearly something that nobody had any interest in whatsoever - 'The challenges of gift buying'. Well, we enjoyed writing it anyway, but don't expect 'The challenges of gift buying II' anytime soon.

By the way, let us know if there are any particular topics you'd like us to cover in 2019, and especially if you really enjoyed reading our article on the challenges of gift buying(!).

PS Our article this time last year - '2018 food and cooking trends - our guesses' - came in second last, so we don't hold out too much hope for the article you're reading (or maybe not reading) right now...