13 Feb 2018

10 Years of Blogging!

mat buckets at the patron bar in manchester wearing mr porter beams
 Visiting The Patron, Manchester
mat buckets at the patron bar in manchester wearing mr porter beams
the patron bar in manchester craft beer selection and food

I've officially been writing on these pages for 10 years! In February 2008 I decided give blogging a go; I was in my first year at university, believe it or not I had a decent amount of hair, and Instagram was just an idea scribbled out on a napkin...

Well, maybe that's not quite how "IG" came about, but you get the idea, things were a lot simpler back then. I started Buckets & Spades as a handy place to store images, as well as a way for me to brush up on my writing skills and grammar... it didn't take long before I found myself totally immersed within a community of creative, witty, funny and honest people from all around the world. I've been hooked on blogging ever since.

The way in which we consume new media has changed a lot since my early experiences, and as regular opportunities started to come my way I decided to take a risk by giving this whole full time blogging / content creator thing a shot. And for the past three years that's what I've dedicated my life to - I wouldn't change a thing.

the patron bar in manchester craft beer selection and food
mat buckets at the patron bar in manchester wearing mr porter beams
the patron bar in manchester craft beer selection and food
mat buckets at the patron bar in manchester wearing mr porter beams
Beams Plus Zip Shirt | Folk x MR PORTER Trousers | NN07 Jumper | Campbell Cole Card Holder | Vans Old Skool Anaheim

Buckets & Spades has grown organically into something much more than I'd ever considered it could, and I am still extremely proud that I managed to turn a hobby into a fully sustainable job, (securing a mortgage wasn't easy but we did it) especially back in the infancy of what is now a flourishing industry. It's been an incredibly fulfilling few years, but I'm definitely guilty of forgetting how lucky I am sometimes.

So, what's next?

As content became spread more evenly across multiple platforms, many of us started to obsess over followers + chase "likes"  we joined a perpetual race to that "next number", seldom being satisfied. With that mindset it's easy to lose perspective of why we started creating content in the first place (read Jordan's enlightening post on the subject here). For me, it was always about pushing myself creatively and celebrating the blogging + design community. Integrity holds that all together.

Sure, we may be way behind schedule with the redesign of Buckets & Spades (it does feels like a proper relic now!), I haven't dedicated as much time as I'd have liked towards my blog reading list, or indeed dedicate time to create regular weekly blog content, but it will happen!  

No one can predict what the next 10 years has in stall for us, but if it's half as rewarding as the previous 10 then I'll be a very happy blogger :)

Photography by Jake Millers

Thank you to The Patron for your welcoming hospitality, as always.

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations on ten years! You've been leading the way since day one. It's been a pleasure man.

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  2. Happy 10 year blogaversary!
    The blogging world is so cool, but also so weird with the uptake of instagram and "faster" media consumption platforms. I like the idea that integrity holds it all together! A fantastic way to put it!

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  3. Congrats Mat! Wishing you another ten years of success.

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  4. krystal/avillagetown.com10:14

    happy 10 years!!!! its great to see all you've done and i love that it was done with integrity. and thats why i'll always be a fan!

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  5. Great bro!! Continue to post the great blogs for us.

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  6. Amazing Mat! Congrats!

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  7. Thank you Jane. I've always enjoying keeping up with you guys.

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  8. WOWWWW!!!!
    Great Styling Mr.Mathew with good combination of colors.....
    Congrats for 10years of blogging......

    https://zinnga.com/

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  9. 10 years of blogging is a massive achievement. Congratulations! Things have changed so much since the early days but it's the constant evolution and wondering what's going to come along next that keeps me hooked. Wishing you all the best with the next 10 years.

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  10. Thanking you kindly sir!

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  11. Thank you Jane! Who knows what I'll be doing in 10 years, but the previous was great.

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  12. Thank you Krystal, that means a lot to me. I appreciate that.

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  13. Yeah it's a proper flip flop, and IG has brought much good but also breaded a new sense of envy / want, which is a huge downside in my books. Thanks Katie!

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  14. Thanks Helen, I really appreciate that. Still by far the best bit is being able to connect with people on another level, I've always enjoyed longform content.

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  15. I really like the simple design of Buckets and Spades and the fact its a little retro and minimalist. So many blogs rely on design to capture audiences but your content is far more creative and really readable. Congrats on the 10 years though. It's such an awesome achievement.

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  16. Happy ten years! What an amazing achievement. Love Jordan's post, I do need to remind myself that numbers are not important. I've always loved your blog design, it is very distinctive and much better than many modern ones which I admit that I don't love as much.

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