A look back at the 2010s

BLUF

Submitted by Nigel Whitfield, Director, BLUF Ltd, 01 January 2020

 

Index

I took over running BLUF in the summer of 2009, with the BLUF3 site launching in December of that year. Here's a look at some of the club's achievements since then

2010

  • We launched a dedicated BLUF mobile site
  • The current logo was chosen, after an open competition
  • Many tweaks and updates were made to improve the site

Belgian website Touristico interviewed Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) during Leather Pride in Antwerp; you can listen to the audio here

2011

  • The BLUF Gear shop was launched on Spreadshirt, selling T shirts and other merchandise

2012

  • We released the first BLUF apps. Messenger for Android and Desktop Messenger for Mac & Windows
  • We launched our BLUF 12x12 campaign to encourage more people to go out in gear
  • The BLUF Calendar became available to everyone, not just members
  • We welcomed our 3000th member
  • The club's 15th birthday was celebrated at a party in Amsterdam

2013

  • The club won its first X-Award at Leatherpride in Belgium
  • We launched the BLUF Card, offering a range of discounts to members who donate to the club
  • The BLUF calendar widget made it possible for other sites to embed our calendar easily
  • We created a public Facebook Page to share information about the club

Check out an interview with BLUF's webmaster in Issue 87 of QX Magazine, on page 34

2014

  • We introduced BLUF Local, which allows both members and non-members to opt in to event information on a city-by-city basis, and show their affiliation to a city
  • Our first ever ad ran in the CLAW program

2015

  • For the first time, our volunteers organised over 100 events in a single year

Check out this interview with Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) from online magazine sadOsam

2016

  • BLUF Ltd was set up, to give the club a legal foundation for the future
  • The site was updated to support high resolution photos
  • A completely rewritten site, BLUF 4, was launched, providing a responsive mobile design
  • A BLUF Calendar app for Pebble Smartwatch was launced

2017

  • The BLUF Calendar skill was launched on Alexa - just ask her what's on this week
  • The club celebrated its 20th birthday, with parties In many cities
  • We won our second X Award

2018

  • Our Navigator app for iPhone launched, bringing an app to Apple devices for the first time
  • The site was updated for GDPR, with new tools to make it easy to download all your data
  • We launched a fundraising campaign to help with legal expenses
  • The BLUF trademark was registered in the EU
  • We launched the monthly Leather Forecast newsletter, available to everyone, highlighting upcoming events

Check out the video of a "Fireside Chat" with Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) on our blog . There's also (in German) an interview in BOX Magazin about the club's 20th birthday (page 20), and Alphatribe issue 10 featured a piece on BLUF's legal issues (page 24)

2019

  • The BLUF Calendar app was launched for iPhone and Android
  • BLUF Navigator was launched on Android, to replace Messenger
  • We welcomed our 4000th member
  • The BLUF trademark was registered in the USA
  • We created the new BLUF Store for custom merchandise such as tie clips

Along the way, BLUF members around the world put on hundreds of events. In the UK, the club was at the forefront of campaigning to save The Backstreet in London, and featured in several newspaper articles. New Local groups have been formed in cities such as Montréal and Paris. We've had our first events in the Southern Hemisphere, in both Australia and South America. Around the globe, BLUF men have taken part in Pride parades, and we've helped promote a range of causes via the BLUF blog.

What's next? We have a vision for 2020 - and we'll tell you more about that in another post.

Nigel

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