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The infamous “Uncle’s Table”

One of my not-so-guilty pleasures is tuning into a local Pittsburgh sports podcast about my Pittsburgh Steelers.

In said podcast, besides having Ramon Foster (a former Steelers player) as a co-host, they also have a way to poke fun at people who aren’t paid subscribers:

Something they call the Uncle’s Table.

Here’s what this means:

Y’know how every family has that crazy uncle you only see during holidays where they regurgitate all the hottest conspiracy theories and rile the entire family up?

That’s the uncle’s table.

And it’s a sign of shame.

Here’s why I’m telling you this:

YouTube now offers some kind of paid subscription to individual creators. I’m not sure about all the details of this program, but one of the features customers get for this particular program is access to cooler emojis they can send in via live chats.

(The $0.99 subscription also gets you 50% off DK Pittsburgh Sports, which is a local sports media company that does an exceedingly good job at local sports coverage and generates over $1 million in revenue per year… so don’t let any guru tell you that watching sports is a waste of time.)


The point of the Uncle’s Table is to shame anyone who isn’t a paid subscriber. And whether they realize it or not, Ramon and DK (the other co-host of this podcast) tapped into the wonderful and profitable world of world-building with the introduction of the Uncle’s Table.

Y’see, it’s instantly obvious whether or not someone has access to the special emojis that paid subscribers to this show get. And besides Ramon and DK roasting anyone without access to the emojis—those at the Uncle’s Table—every paid subscriber to this program also joins in on bashing them.

In other words:

Ramon and DK “employ” their fans into shaming other fans who sit at the Uncle’s Table.

Now, I don’t know the exact numbers off-hand, but ever since Ramon introduced this Uncle’s Table idea, the show’s paid subscribers jumped from a few hundred to over a thousand.

Of course, there are other factors that go into this too: Such as football season being right around the corner (at least at the time of writing this).

But if’n they didn’t tap into this piece of world-building—where their fans shame other fans without being asked until they leave the Uncle’s Table and become a paid subscriber—their growth would’ve been much slower.

Many lessons embedded in this bad boy.


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