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Gardening the Mind

I recently spoke to a woman who is one of the few surviving anti-GPS enthusiasts. She stated that she likes to use maps because she prefers them to GPS, she likes to know the area she lives in and not simply be a slave to turn by turn instructions. Her chief concern about the technology was that its stopping people from thinking and developing a lateral thinking mindset. Something which I somewhat contest, I believe that the technology of the future, although it might render certain thought processes obsolete, it may in fact call for new patterns. This is something which I had on my mind while reading Gardeners Five Minds For the Future. The five minds are as followed

The Disciplined mind – a person who has mastered a specific craft
The Synthesising mind – Somebody who is capable to making dense of large amounts of diverse information
The Creating mind – this is a new evolution of ‘mind’ as it combines the previous two. This is the mind that innovates a creative idea from synthesis and then shapes it into a disciplined form which can be consumed.
The Respectful mind – This mind recognises the diversity and complexity which is becoming prevalent in our world, and embraces it.
The Ethical Mind – Ponders the impact of ones work, and how it could render service to the community

Gardener then goes on to discuss the new vs the old attitude to education, and this is where the GPS argument comes in. In the past for example, it was necessary for people to develop a disciplined mind, one had to be to ultimate master of a trade, many things were not automated, thus calling for intense learning about all details of a task such as map reading or type setting. Now, in the digital age however, this is no longer required, as the previously ‘nitty gritty’ information is readily at hand for anybody. Therefore, we can now turn our focus to developing Ethical, Respectful and Creative minds.

Finally, the chapter concludes by explaining the importance of developing rounded mindsets, and the ability of becoming a multi-faceted human being, along with the benefits this will have on the quality of ones life.

Have I Made it?

For the past seven years I have been creating content on YouTube, throughout this time I have experimented with many different genres and styles in order to find my voice. From parody music video to toying with special effects. Eventually, I have come to realise that uplifting comedy is really where I would like to leave my impression. However, making comedy videos on youtube requires one to have a whole new set of literacies. For example, on youtube the trolling community is quite large, I have received a number of hateful comments, something which I explore here. Jay Oatway explores this in his discussion about content creation, one thing that he emphasises is to first fully understand your community, to follow them on blogs and social media, in order to understand their expectations. To put it briefly, the reason that hate is often received is because the audience is receiving content that they do not expect. For example, my most disliked video is called “How to get money from vending machines”, when i look at the Youtube Analytics of this video, I am able to see that the audience mainly comes from the youtube search, which are people who legitimately believe that I’m going to show them how to make a buck. However, once they click on the video they realise its comedy and become quite upset, and revert to trolling. I explore this in more depth on my blog post here.

This whole dynamic is quite interesting, it is reminiscent of the Anonymous phenomenon that originated on fourchan. According to the BBC Documentary “How Hackers Changed the World”, the anonymous group has a very strong sense of community and understanding. One of the members while discussing the protests on scientology, explained that suddenly everybody who knew the same jokes as each other were coming together. Not only jokes, but the same set of shared values and culture. Thus, there was such a passion about certain acts of hacktivism which they conducted, such as taking down the Neo-Nazi Hal Turner. It is incredible to believe that something so intangible like the internet can develop such a large network of independant literacies. Andrew Blum, touches on this briefly in his TED Talk “What is the Internet Really” when he states that “my relationship to the physical world had changed”. Memes are a great example of this, they often sit online and are constantly remixed and recycled like on a “petri dish” until they become a subset of internet culture. Rosanna Guadagno also explores this in her study about what makes a video go viral, she explores the importance of emotional impact and found that a video was more sharable when it had emotion provoking content. I would like to compare this to a common stand-up comedy theory, discussed by the likes of Gene Perret and Judy Carter. Its understood that audience expectation and a sense of community is often what makes or breaks an engagement. In my case, because I have been developing my own voice, I often have not provided my audience with consistent content. This I believe it what has opened me up to hate messages. By constantly shifting my content, the audience does not know what they are receiving, and opposes my work.



YouTube. (2016). BBC Documentary – How Hackers Changed the World [Full]. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2016].

Oatway, J. (2012). Mastering story, community and influence. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley.

Guadagno, Rosanna E. et al. ‘What Makes A Video Go Viral? An Analysis Of Emotional Contagion And Internet Memes’. Computers in Human Behavior 29.6 (2013): 2312-2319. Web.

Perret, G. (2007). The new comedy writing step by step. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press.

Carter, J. (2001). The comedy bible. New York: Fireside.

Iv’e Been Thinking

Despite all the experimentation that has been happening on my youtube channel, one thing that ive always really wanted to maintain is uplifting content. I want to make people think and be entertained at the same time. Thats why I started the “Ive been thinking” series:

Here are the first four episodes:

It will be interesting to see how my audience reacts, considering they are used to comedy content from me.

Finding My Voice – Audience of Jrnwfire

Over the past seven years I have been uploading videos to a youtube channel known as ‘Jordan Raj’ (formerly Jrnwfire). Throughout this time I have uploaded around 130 videos, with all sorts of random content and genres. This has been a sort of journScreen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.24.05 PMey, not only of self discovery but also an endeavour to understand and taylor content to a specific audience. The following exploration aims to outline the learnings I have obtained but also reflect on the future of Jordan Raj and where I can take it from here.


Firstly, I would like to outline the limitations of my exploration. I will only be looking at my particular audience, this is because I have very detailed statistics specifically on my own audience. Furthermore, I am making assumptions based on very sporadic and inconsistent content, which is only really characteristic of my own individual case. However, in order to validate my claims i will be looking at the information gathered in the context of further research, such as what makes a video viral and what makes an audience engage.

Now that I have established what my limitations are, its time to begin, who is my audience. The best way to answer this question is to look at my youtube analytics:

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.25.45 PM

Here i’m choosing to look at the statistics for the lifetime of my channel, therefore im capturing the most general overview of the audience. From simply looking at this basic statistic it it is blaringly evident that the majority of my audience is male. This alone however is not enough information, luckily youtube offers me more:

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.26.41 PM

From this further information we can identify my audience as mainly male and located in the United States. However, there is a very important piece of information which needs to be considered; 41% of my views have come from a single video.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.27.27 PM

The video titled “How to Money from Vending Machines” has received 140,000 views, and has mainly been found through the “Youtube Search” or “Direct sources”. This video is intended to be a light parody of our vending machine habits, however it is evident from some of the statistics that this is NOT what the audience expected from the title. It has quite a low audience retention and an overwhelming number of dislikes:

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.28.32 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.29.25 PM

It is quite clear that in this case I have attracted the wrong auience. Regardless, I have gained a valuable insight; title is important. This is an assumption which further proves to be true when we look at the second most viewed video, “BEST PUNS EVER – Vine Compilation”. This video is responsible for 16% of all my channel views and has arguably the best title, it is accurate to name and entices a click from the audience. Unlike the previous video it actually has a significantly higher retention rate and much more positive feedback:

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.30.19 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.30.44 PM This video would have to be my most successful video, simply because the intent aligned with the results. Yes, I have other videos that people have found interesting, but this one seems to stand alone in terms of original intent to success ratio. By this I mean the video was made as a comedy, and the positive feedback suggests that is getting viewed by people who want to enjoy it as a comedy. Thus at this point I would like to discuss what makes a video go viral and what makes it popular, I’m looking at any possible correlation between the success of the puns video and the results from the following study:


Guadagno, Rosanna E. et al. ‘What Makes A Video Go Viral? An Analysis Of Emotional Contagion And Internet Memes’. Computers in Human Behavior 29.6 (2013): 2312-2319. Web.


The above is a published study that aimed to mathematically analyze the factors which determine a videos ‘shareability’ or what causes a video to go viral. The central hypothesis suggested that the video would be shared more if it created an emotional impact on the audience. Within the scope of emotional impact it also suggested that a video conveying positive emotions was more likely to be shared than one conveying anger or disgust. In order to conduct this study a number of videos were selected and then showed to a sample of undergraduate students. The students were then to give a quantitative answer on how likely they were to share the video. Not surprisingly the hypothesis was in fact proven, people tended to share videos that had a positive emotional response.

This hypothesis does agree with the idea that a comedy video would receive a positive response, however it does not directly address the idea of audience retention or engagement. Regardless i feel it is safe to assume that if a video is creating a positive emotional response people would be more likely to maintain interaction. Likewise, if their expectations, which they may have gained from the title, are being fulfilled they would not feel cheated and click out.

It is also worth noting that the audience for the study were undergraduate students, lets reffer to the audience age of the puns video:

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.31.59 PM

Unsurprisingly the majority of the audience is university age, between 18-24. This is also the age of the students being surveyed for the above study, allowing our assumptions to be more accurate. Certainly the emotional response is one very important factor in what makes a video have high response rate. However the actual personality and mindset of the viewer needs to be considered; their personal susceptibility etc.. Additionally conducting a study and presenting viewers with media is very different to the way that they would otherwise organically receive it. Overall, the idea that emotional connection with a video directly links to its shareability was a very valid and worthwhile investigation, however in order for this research to be applied there needs to be consideration of many different factors. For example, the expectation and means by which they are recieving content.


One way in which the youtube audience in specific responds to this phenomena is by creating subscribers. Subscribers are those that commit to receiving your content when you release more and are constantly kept up to date with your news. By employing this system one ensurees that the audience that they are delivering to has an expectation, based on previous content and familiarlity with a channels personality and style. Over time this has a two-fold effect; the audience becomes more loyal and consistent, with a relationship being formed, and secondly, the content creator starts to curate for the expected audience. The following study on predicting audience gender speaks to this idea:


Predicting audience gender in online content-sharing social networks

Xiao, Chunjing ; Zhou, Fan ; Xiao, Chunjing ; Zhou, Fan ; Wu, Yue

Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, June 2013, Vol.64(6), pp.1284-1297


The above article focused on a study that aimed to measure the accuracy of different prediction methods to determine the gender of an audience. The method involved comparing early audience and late audience as well as the trend of gender for a particular media content creator. It was found that the more content a creator had produced the more accurately gender could be predicted. The main use of this study would be to optimize searches and advertising. However, it is useful in the sense that it can provide content creators with confirmation that the gender of their fan base will maintain consistency as long as they deliver the same type of content.


In my particular case i find this intriguing because of my drastically skewed male audience. Im aware that my audience is 70% male and mostly between the ages of 18-24, therefore if I want my content to be more shared and appealing it only makes sense that I should start curating it to this audience. But, what if i dont WANT this to be my primary audience. What if I want to establish a male-female 50-50 split, and i want to deliver content that is appealing to both genders. It would be necessary in this case for me to embrace other elements of content curation, elements which regard consistency and expectation as important while at the same time trying to redefine my audience. The following essay discussing the work of Chis Lilley on youtube raises some interesting points:


Erhart, J. (2014). ‘Mr G is deffinately bringin’ Sexy back’: characterizing Chris Lilley’s YouTube audience. Continuum, 28(2), pp.176-187.


This essay looks at the impact of Chis Lilleys Youtube audience and how having content on both TV and the internet affect his audience response. It looks at numerous user comments and discusses how expectation and loyalty is being built up in the fan base. However i found the following quite interesting:


“Let me look closely at the example of the upload ‘Ja’mie Bloopers Summer Heights High’. The title of the YouTube is self-explanatory. The frequent motif that comes up in posts attached to this upload – as elsewhere on YouTube and indeed throughout critical responses to Lilley – concerns his acting prowess”


This brief excerpt from the study confirms what I have deduced up until this point; titling is very important. Throughout the study it’s clear that the audience always knows what to expect and they associate some familiarity with the titles and expect to see a particular type of content. The audience is drawn in by a reason to click and a desire to investigate the topic further. The key idea here is that expectation is transformed into delivery.


Therefore what I believe is that expectation is always going to be the key to creating audience retention. Expectation must always inform the entertainer and allow for them to curate the content, responding to the subliminal vulnerabilities and requisitions of the audience. This is even an idea which is explained at length by entertainers and writers such as Gene Perret, Bob Hope and Judy Carter, all of whom are expert comedians and writers. They understand that entertainment is essentially the process of allowing an audience to realize and experience what they truly desire.


In conclusion, the YouTube audience is not unlike any other audience. Their expectations must be met by the entertainer in order to receive positive response. Thus in order to reach them, a content creator, which in this case is me, must continue to deliver consistent content that establishes clear expectation and eventually delivers upon it. Over time this will create a fan-base which will continue to return and further build up expectation which will lead to my further curation and tailoring of content. This cycle is essential to any audience, and is what leads to success.




Alphabet Inc. (2016). Youtube Analytics. Youtube.


Carter, J. (2001). The comedy bible. New York: Fireside.


Perret, G. (2007). The new comedy writing step by step. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press.


Guadagno, Rosanna E. et al. ‘What Makes A Video Go Viral? An Analysis Of Emotional Contagion And Internet Memes’. Computers in Human Behavior 29.6 (2013): 2312-2319. Web.


Predicting audience gender in online content-sharing social networks

Xiao, Chunjing ; Zhou, Fan ; Xiao, Chunjing ; Zhou, Fan ; Wu, Yue

Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, June 2013, Vol.64(6), pp.1284-1297


Erhart, J. (2014). ‘Mr G is deffinately bringin’ Sexy back’: characterizing Chris Lilley’s YouTube audience. Continuum, 28(2), pp.176-187.

Sick of Citrus

This is a post that is almost BETTER out of context than in context.  So I’ll just drop this on you:

Original Song “Sick of Citrus” now on SoundCloud… @jrnwfire #SickOfCitrus #OriginalSong #Guitar

A video posted by Jordan Raj (@jrnwfire) on

Ok, now that you are sufficiently confused, I will explain. Arriving back in Brisbane after three from the Czech Republic I was eager to get down to business, take the Australia of opportunity by its throat and make it boogie. I was staying with my Aunt and Uncle at the time and was asked if I would be interested in working for their food stall at the Falls Music Festival. I agreed.

Long story short, I started getting sick during the festival, and quickly made sure to cure my sore throat with the lemonade from the stall next door to us. With the words lemon, citrus, sick and sugar-free floating around, suddenly the phrase “sick of citrus” popped up. My instant reaction was “that would make a great song title”, and so promptly upon return to Brisbane, Sick of Citrus was written – with the sole intent to use that phrase.

Here is the full song:

Late Reaction

This week im working on a video regarding the new reaction videos on facebook, you know the ones:

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.07.00 PM

Without going into too much detail about the video itself (I will post it here when it is complete) I wanted to touch on the making of Process. The video is filmed in what i like to refer to as my studio, which is really my bedroom and some coloured paper. I set up three lights, one camera and a microphone and hit record. I then roll the camera for sometimes one and a half hours simply capturing footage of myself talking to camera. I usually follow  rough script which is on a laptop just out of frame. Im alone in my room and this means that i can be as silly as i need to be to get my point across and don’t have to worry about embarrassment, i simply cop it all later. Here is a video of me getting distracted in the 12th minute of footage:


I am saying “In Cheeye” which is Farsi for “What is this?”… Im learning Farsi… I then say “In Kheily cool bood” which i believe means “This is very cool”… I was alone.

Once I film, the process involves me copying all the information onto a single folder onto my computer, since this video does not have many scenes I can copy all the information into one folder without it getting too confusing:

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.16.21 PM

As you can see, the audio and the video are seperate files that need to be synced together later. The editing process starts here, I use Adobe Premiere Pro to go through all the footage and cut it into a final product.

When the editing is complete and I export the video in 1080p and upload it to my YouTube Channel, making sure that I have a cool Thumbnail for the video. Something like this:


Once all this is done I share the video link to Facebook and beg my friends to watch it… Simple…

I aim for the final video to be posted by this Sunday the 20th of March… I hope… Now that I have written this post I simply have to follow through…


Started with my Bottom Now Im Here.

I must say this year got off to an interesting start, Instead of going to the first day of Uni, I stayed at home and had a colonoscopy. Whaaat. Yep. a colonoscopy, and if you want proof, you can click right here for pics.  Luckily my recovery time was swift and I was able to attend the first session of “The Digital Director with Mark Poole”. This is the studio I have selected for this semester, and to be honest I selected it so long ago I have forgotten what I signed up for. Heres what I gathered:

  • We will be talking about drones a lot
  • We are looking at the way technology has changed the way we make films
    • ie. Gimbals, Drones, Internet, Smaller cameras, Cheaper cameras

These are the two most important points… As for now however, it seems like this semester will be fairly flexible, we will be directing our research into areas that we personally find interesting. This should be a productive experience.

Where were the Eggs?

Like all good things, our summer adventure that has been “The Great Belgian Egg Hunt” has come to a close. Where were the eggs? Well – the eggs would have to be the things that we learnt over the process of the hunt, and the ‘Great Belgian’ sounds too heavy so ill leave him behind.

I can safely say that i learnt a lot through these short six weeks. Firstly, the course was very practical, compared to the 12 week studios, the egg hunt took no time in getting us into gear. By the end of the first week we were already conceptualising and creating our end product. This whole notion of practicality and learning while doing was one i really appreciated, I learn best by DOING, and this course had a lot of doing. Especially the filming process, using new equipment, organising extras and directing. Opened me up to a world of learning. For example; I learnt that a video camera would have been better for our wide shots. That its almost impossible to use a 5D in direct sunlight. When working with actors one has to be gentle but give clear direction. All these practical learnings have ensured that next time I am faced with a similar situation I will be more informed on how to act.

Secondly, not to boost his ego – but, Rohan was a pretty great mentor.  I say this not only because because I know he will be assessing this post, but also because he actually had REAL LIFE experience with music video making. For example, from day 1 he was showing us his own work and explaing to us how it was done. This was inspiring, as we quickly learnt that a production does not have to have a huge budget to look good, and there are many ways to achieve a particular look or do an effect. This experience that Rohan had also came through when it came to editing our work, he was able to give us an industry perspective on what worked and what didn’t and often pointed out cheeky editing stunts we could pull off. This adds to my original point about practical learning throughout this course. It was simply the best way for me to learn, to be able to see examples, try things and receive feedback.

Finally, what impact has the studio had on my professional journey? Well, Iv’e realized that i really like music video production! For one, the sound is totally taken care of; dont have to worry about a sound guy – and great sound automatically adds so much value to your production. Additionally, its such a dynamic and diverse field, whereas, often with feature film there are basic filmic and narrative conventions which should be followed. However, with music videos there is room for experimentation that does not take one and a half hours of an audiences life. Furthermore, there is more room for detail, being a student and not having a large budget, its easier to do 3-4 minutes of quality work than making a 90minute film with over 30 scenes. Lastly, I have a passion for music and evoking emotion through music (im not sure im necessarily good at it – but its fun), therefore music video seems to be the perfect space to bring my interest for film and music together. I have actually contacted another two singers in Melbourne and im going to continue making music videos and see where life takes me.

Until next time,


Fine Cut

Here we are – Oh boi it went by so fast – the final class of the Great Belgian Egg Hunt. Today we are presenting our fine (not final) cuts of our music videos. Here it is:

There is a major improvement over the previous edit. We shortened the awkward and long scenes and no longer spoon feed the story to the audience. Overall it is a lot better. There are still a few tweaks to be made, like the colour grading and there are moments in which Abby looses focus or looks at the camera.


Tones of Subjectivity

Art is arguably one of the most subjective things in the world of existence. It is a form of creation, which in turn is a way of bringing into being ones perspective.

What does all this fancy-talk mean? Well, it means that when a work is being created everybody will have different opinions on how that work should be. This is what we faced when collaborating to colour grade the music video. Up until this point the decisions had been fairly easy to make, as it is a narrative video there were straightforward ways in which things were done.

However, when it came  to choose a font and colour grade – differing opinions came forth. Should the video have warm tones, cold tones, what type of warm and cold tones? All these questions came forth and there did not seem to be a middle ground. Here are a two of the different grades:

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.32.40 pm

Yellow Tones

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.33.23 pm

Green Tones


Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.35.07 pm

Yellow Tones

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.34.41 pm

Green Tones


Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.42.59 pm

Yellow Tones

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.43.24 pm

Green Tones








Although being very subtle differences, they do very much impact the final emotion of the piece. This however is still a very subjective thing and is a matter of personal opinion. Currently, there is still no sure fire method for deciding how our group will settle on a final colour

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