Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘Uncler,’ the Social Network for uncles

By Brian Ahearn

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Editor’s Note: This piece is satirical in nature.  The company referenced is fictional.

Social networking is dominating the world.  As of February, there were over 845 million accounts registered to Facebook, and the numbers are growing every day.  But of course this is not the only form of social networking out there – there are many – and each appeals to a certain audience.  For example, media outlets and celebrities dominate Twitter due to its ability to convey ideas and links to stories in a way that is as simple as sending out a text message.  Businesspeople can connect on websites like LinkedIn.  Some websites even appeal mostly to certain genders, such as Pinterest, where approximately 83 percent of users are American women. But there is one demographic that is considerably lacking in the social networking world: uncles.

Sure, uncles can have a Facebook or Twitter, but these are not tailored directly to the needs of uncles.  This is where one company is hoping to make a splash: Uncler.  Uncler is an Amherst, Massachusetts based up-and-coming company seeking to connect your favorite uncle with other peoples’ favorite uncles.  Though they have not officially created their website, the company expects to go public within the next three years.

The creators, one a business major in the Isenberg School of Management and the other a Communications major, have asked that their names not be officially released until the company goes public, but have agreed to comment.  They describe the company as “revolutionary, like nothing that has previously been released before.”

The plan is to create a website strictly for uncles, and it allows uncles to connect with one another in order to share their opinions on being uncles and their other uncle-type hobbies.  Each user will be required to fill out a 50-question personality test upon joining, as well as providing proof of uncle-ship.  Some proposed questions include “Have you ever grown a mustache for a formal event,” and “Do you own a Hawaiian shirt,” with a follow-up of, “If you answered ‘yes’ to the previous question, then how many?”  The results of this test will be processed through an algorithm to determine what kind of uncle they are, including results like the fun, creepy, and “game-closet” uncle.

After completing the personality test, an uncle may edit their profile, adding a picture and listing their interests and views, much like Facebook.  Users will also be able to send out an “Uncle Handout” to other uncles as a way of connecting.  After accepting a handout, users may then interact freely with one another.

Another planned benefit of Uncler is the “Meet-Up” function.  Events will be arranged and posted on the site to inform users of local get-togethers where they can meet other uncles in real life.  Events will consist of traditional uncle activities, such as fishing, bowling, wrestling and getting together at a favorite local bar and grille.

The Uncler company also plans on releasing a mobile application upon launch of the website.  This app will allow uncles to connect easily when they are not near a computer.  “Using topical recognition software,” one anonymous creator says, “uncles will be able to press their lips to their phones touch screen and blow a virtual kiss to another uncle.”  The device will also allow more “traditional” mobile app features in addition to the kiss blowing.

“It’s going to be the bee’s knees,” the other creator states.

In addition to Uncler, the company is also planning a form of instant messaging tailored for fathers called “DadChat,” which has the slogan “Where the dads are at.”  DadChat will allow other dads to connect with one another and vent about the stresses of their daily lives brought upon by factors like their jobs and kids.

Those involved with the project are very optimistic about the outcome.  According to a company spokesperson, the company believes that “in today’s world there is a serious lack of community, but this is a great way of forming a true connection between uncles and fathers.”

And anyone can become a part of Uncler, the creators urge.  For a donation of just $100, those behind Uncler guarantee they will turn that into $5,000 within the next three years, an investment that they assure has no downside.

Brian Ahearn is a Collegian contributor. He can be reached at [email protected]


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