Hip Hop Meets Neue Deutsche Welle: Ja Ja Ja

Julie Jigsaw onstage with Ja Ja Ja. Photo by Ar:Gee Gleim

Julie Jigsaw was my stage name with Ja Ja Ja.       My real name is Julie A. Ashcraft.     I currently record under the name Jigsawnovich.

In 1980, I left Dallas for Pratt Institute in New York, where I co-founded my first band, Group of Trees, with fellow art students Ted Parsons on drums and Gregory Grinnell on guitar. I wrote all the lyrics and the melodies that I sang and that I played on Casiotone. Our sound was Post-Punk/No-Wave with a Surf influence. Ted later joined The Swans and Prong. Greg later joined The Toasters.

Der Plan "Geri Reig" album cover

During 1978-1980, I saw Liquid Liquid, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bad Brains, The Slits, Patti Smith, Captain Beefheart and Devo live on stage. I met Steve Ignorant by chance when I wore a CRASS badge to the Reggae Lounge in New York. Steve wrote letters to me for the next year.

I also listened to Chinese Opera, Yoko Ono, Der Plan, Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft, Holger Hiller, Wirtschaftswunder, Sugarhill Gang, The Surfaris, ? and the Mysterians, The Residents, Kraftwerk, Mars, DNA, PIL, Wire, Joy Division, Augustus Pablo, and Ornette Coleman. I was a radio dj with a weekly show on Pratt Radio’s original WPIR station. My friend Daniel Clowes let me borrow records to play on air, and I half starved myself in order to afford new imports at 99Records.

In 1981, I purchased Der Plan’s Geri Reig record because the robot baby Jesus on the cover was funny! I also liked the sound of German, and tried to learn it by listening to Der Plan. I wrote them a fan letter, complimenting their artwork and asking how they made all the interesting sounds in the music. Moritz R., the graphic artist and lead singer of Der Plan, replied. After we exchanged letters, photos and cassette tapes for months, Moritz invited me to visit him and Der Plan.

KLAR! 80/82 ALLES ODER NICHTS

I flew to Dusseldorf, and I stayed in the guest room at ATA TAK studios, downstairs from Kurt Dahlke (A.K.A. Pyrolator) and Frank Fenster- macher. I enjoyed deep philosophical conversations with Frank and Kurt. George Gurdjieff concepts Kurt told me about, regarding “identification,” inspired me to write a poem which later became the lyrics to the “Ja! Ja! Ja!” (Yes! Yes! Yes!) song.

I wrote new melodies on piano and rhythms on drums, and I experi-mented with the bass, trumpet and synthesizer in the ATA TAK studio. Frank called me a “natural talent,” and Kurt introduced me to his friends, Frank Samba and Wietn Wito. The first night we met, Frank, Wito and I had a jam session. I improvised lyrics and sang, played harmonica, percussion and trumpet; Wito played bass; and Frank played drums. Kurt/Pyrolator slipped into the booth and recorded us. We chose the best parts, and Wito suggested we call it, “Die Wahrheit” (The Truth). It would be our first single, released in 1982 on the Klar! 80 Sampler, ALLES ODER NICHTS (EVERYTHING OR NOTHING).  In the next days Frank, Wito and I created “Katz Rap”(Cat Rap)  and “Mom”, which would be released as our 7″ single, on ATA TAK, engineered by Pyrolator. I suggested our band name, Ja Ja Ja, and I designed and painted the Katz Rap record sleeve and label.

"Katz Rap" was the first female rap record in Europe.

During 1981-1982, I met Blixa Bargeld, Gudrun Gut, Bettina Koster, Robert Gorl, Werner Lam- bertz, and Andreas Dorau. I interviewed Holger Hiller for the New Musical Express, and I saw Palais Schaumburg, Einsturzende Neubauten and Der KFC live onstage. I also visited both East and West Berlin as often as possible. The vibrant politics and fiery squatter riots on the Western side contrasted with private acts of rebellion against the paranoid Stasi state on the Eastern side were fascinating. In the meanwhile the cold war nuclear arms race was accelerating, and some of the young Germans I met resented what they saw as “occupation” via American military bases. This tense atmosphere inspired my lyrics to “Habt Nicht Mehr Angst” (Have No More Fear).

New poems I wrote in Germany, plus poems I’d written in New York, became lyrics for all the Ja Ja Ja songs. I presented deeply personal experiences and emotions in an abstract and sometimes lighthearted manner, to show a way to survive and even find joy in such intensity. I composed the melodies I sang and played, and I composed the melody that Wito played on “Destiny.” He and Frank tended to play their instruments in ways that were at once rhythmic and melodic. Frank tuned his drums with great precision, and he was acutely aware of overtones and harmonics. Wito created infectious, driving riffs. Together we pioneered a dynamic new sound, and Ar/Gee Gleim’s photos of us captured our affectionate spirit.

"Graffiti Artists International" was the first song about graffiti in Europe.

With the 1982 release of “Katz Rap,” I became the first female rapper on record in Europe. And with the release of “Graffiti Artists Interna- tional” later that year, I became the first rapper in Europe to record a song about graffiti. The record cover I designed and painted for our album was one of the first record covers to depict a dinosaur, and it long preceded David Icke’s hypo- thesis regarding reptilians and tech-nology. I also painted the large dinosaur and graffiti backdrop we exhibited at our live shows. And I created a breakdancing dinosaur concept for our “I Am An Animal” video.

Years before he engineered Bjork, The Sugarcubes and Kukl, Mel Jefferson was the recording engineer for Ja Ja Ja. In 1982, while we were recording our album, Mel suggested that I sing harmonies like a train in the distance, for the opening section of “Graffiti Artists International”. I’ve always wondered whether The Pixies “Where is My Mind,” Fierce & Nico “Input,” and Hichkas “Terrorist” included samples of my voice from “Graffiti Artists International”.

Ja Ja Ja at Danceteria in 1983

Wito and Frank, and our featured guest, Henry Scott III, were tremen- dous musicians. Playing live was great! It was so nice seeing our audiences, and finding that such an amazing mixture of many different kinds of people enjoy our music! I remember a gig in Zurich where our audience was half leather-clad Punk Rockers and half engineers/scientists wearing glasses and nicely pressed shirts! We played clubs, colleges and festivals in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium—and we attracted fans from many other countries! And Melle Mel from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five enthusiastically attended our concerts at the Danceteria club in New York City. John Peel played “Katz Rap” on BBC radio and we were interviewed on German Radio in Zurich.

I also had the pleasure of being featured on a track by Austrian musician Xao Seffcheque. His warmth and sense of humor were rare in Dusseldorf. I wrote the lyrics and sang on Xao’s track, “Julie in Germany,” which was released in 1982 on the Klar und Wahr – Sounds Rettet Deutschland (Clear and True – Sounds Rescues Germany) compilation released by Das Buro.

Although I’d written the lyrics and melodies to most of the Ja Ja Ja songs, rather than only giving Frank and Wito arrangements credits, we split songwriting credits on our singles and album three ways in order to encourage collaboration. Afterwards, Wito came to me and said he’d written some new songs, that he would dictate what I would play and sing, and that he wanted the songs credited to himself only. His proposal was dictatorial and in violation of our agreement regarding collaborative credits. Besides, Wito was focusing on Prog Jazz, whereas I was more interested in Hip Hop.

In 1983, I moved back to New York and became involved in the New York Hip Hop move-ment, exploring my talents as a Graffiti Artist. I painted fifty jackets for the Allen Boys; and became friends with Revolt, Lee Quinones and Vulcan. My paintings and sculptures were included in shows at Fashion Moda, Danceteria and Stellweg Seguy. I collaborated on a mural with Lady Pink in The Roxy. Cey and Sharp took me down subway tunnels and we painted graffiti pieces on the sides of the train. Futura 2000 and Zephyr drew full pages in my graffiti blackbooks. Cey introduced me to Andy Warhol, Jean Michele Basquiat, and Keith Haring. My friend Martin Burgoyne, from Pratt Institute, introduced me to Madonna.

During 1983-84, I was living on Rivington Street, dodging stray bullets and listening to the new hard rap from Run DMC. Inspired by the danger of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I wrote new songs. Frank and I found American bassist Billy Grant, to replace Wito. We toured and were well received. If only the internet had existed at that time! Keeping the group together with an ocean between Frank and me proved too difficult, alas.

Ja Ja Ja is a group full of joy and emotional struggles, perfection and experimentation, space and time. The combination of our souls and skills sometimes created fields of virtually metaphysical intensity and magnitude. Wito told me he saw colors rise from his bass into the air and go out into the audience. Our music has prevailed with your help, beloved listener. Thank you for your inspirational energy and your enthusiasm through the decades.

The self-titled Ja Ja Ja album will be re-released in Japan soon. “Katz Rap” was re-released on the compilation CD, Grlz: Women Ahead of Their Time (Germany, Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records 2005). One of our original vinyl 7″ ATA TAK pressings of “Katz Rap” is included in the Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection, circa 1975-85, a Division of Rare Manuscript Collections.

Julie Jigsawnovich

I’ve recorded one song under the name Jigsawnovich, and plan to release a new song soon.
~Julie A. Ashcraft A.K.A. Julie Jigsaw A.K.A. Jigsawnovich
© 2011 Julie A. Ashcraft
All rights reserved. For permissions and more information, contact Julie at jigsawnovich (at) gmail (dot) com
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Bidad: Bridge to the Future of Music in Iran?

Bidad with instruments: tar, setar, daf, damam, udu, tomback, shaker, bandir, rain

by Jigsawnovich/Julie Ashcraft

NEW YORK–21yr old Bidad (Amir Ghahremani) achieves spine-chilling intensity with traditional Iranian vocal techniques, yet he risked prosecution by collaborating with rappers Hichkas and Quf as they rose to fame from the forbidden cultural underground in Tehran. The most extreme Islamic clerics tend to persecute music in general, and all Iranian citizens seeking to perform or publish their music are at minimum required to request permission from Ershaad, the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Many requests are denied, and arrests of “illegal” recording artists in Iran accelerated during the last few years when more songs with lyrics addressing Iranian socio-political issues were set to “Western” beats and defiantly distributed via the internet. But rather than dissuading outlaw musicians and their fans, the arrests seem to have contributed further to the esteem with which these recording artists are held.

Interestingly the Iranian president’s Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, recently braved the vitriol of conservative clergy by stating that clerics declare music haraam because they do not understand it. This statement, plus Mashaei’s reported emphasis on Iranian (as opposed to Arab Islamic) culture lead some to warily speculate that Mashaei is merely trying to win the support of targeted demographics who could propel him to the presidency when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad completes this term.  Iranian politicians recognize the influence that figures from the cultural underground have, and several musicians and rappers were reportedly approached by opposition presidential candidates Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi before the 2009 presidential election. Yet, in a political environment where even a regime politician such as Mashaei may recognize that advocating for music could garner him wider support, my analysis is that Bidad’s traditional vocal style within the context of modern genres including Hip Hop could potentially position Bidad as a bridge between generations, and even between urban and rural Iranians. Could Bidad’s music lead to Iranian cultural ministers approving a wider range of music in the future? Or will the severity of the crackdown on culture in Iran only increase, eventually forcing Bidad to flee like many musicians before him?

In the promotional photo for “Arghavan,” Bidad sits before a barred door with Tehran’s Milad Tower in the background.

Bidad is not associated with overtly political lyrics, however, the Bidad pseudonym he chose for himself does mean “outcry.” And on a teaser track from his forthcoming album, he sings the poem, “Arghavan,” by respected 83yr old Master Hushang Ebtehaj. “Arghavan” means “purple” in Persian, and lines include: “I’m in this corner which is out of the world, where there’s no sun up in the sky. I no longer know about Spring. All I see is the wall…so close I can’t breathe…even air is imprisoned here.”* Ebtehaj was imprisoned in Iran for a year after the 1979 Iranian revolution, and later fled to Germany.

Bidad loves the music of internationally acclaimed singer and composer Mohammad Reza Shajarian, and the inspiration provided by 61yr old traditional Persian music master can be heard in Bidad’s younger voice as he exhibits his ability to “touch lyrics.” Bidad also likes Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Tupac, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey. Bidad’s dynamic ability to adapt and combine musical genres from different cultures intensifies his unique sound.


Traditional Iranian music tends to convey deep emotions while at the same time being very technical, and difficult to play. Bidad first began singing when he was 5 years old. He sings 3 or 4 hours every day now (he doesn’t smoke), and he also plays these instruments: udu, cajon, conga cajon, bongo cajon, daff, and setar. His production skills include Q Base, Logic and Pro Tools. In addition to performing, Bidad composed, arranged and produced the “Arghavan” track. Bidad lives in Tehran and gives music lessons there. Bidad’s official Facebook fan page is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/-BIDAD-Official-Page-/251767411991 and his Facebook group with chat is here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_162774290421391

Also check out Hichkas feat. Bidad on “Pa Bar Ja” and “Dide o Del;” Quf feat. Bidad on “Basse Moftbari,” “Saghi” and “Bia Pisham;” Satrap feat. Bidad on “Ghasedak,” and many more Bidad collaborations with other artists.

Julie Ashcraft A.K.A. Jigsawnovich is an artist, writer and musician living in New York. Performing under the name Julie Jigsaw, she co-formed the German band Ja Ja Ja, and with the song “Katz Rap” she became female rapper on record in Europe. See www.facebook.com/pages/Ja-Ja-Ja/She has now recorded a new track with producer and composer Dalavar, and plans to release it soon. Contact her at: jigsawnovich1 (at) gmail (dot)  

*Thanks to Adel G. for the translation
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International Human Rights Day Poster

(c)2010 Julie Ashcraft Contact: worldofashcraft(at)gmail(dot)com

The poster I designed for International Human Rights Day 2010 is included in Arts Showcase for Iran which is sponsored by the One Million Voices for Iran campaign, and was first featured in mid-November by the Union For Advancement of Secular Democracy in Iran.

Wanting to create a poster in the spirit of love, I included a father hugging his son who was released from political imprisonment in the infamous Evin Detention Center in Tehran; drew a sutured heart inside a chalk line of Iran’s borders to show repair, renewal and return from the brink of death sometimes made possible by Iran’s renowned doctors–and to show the possibility of transcending a divided heart, historical quarrels, in the interest of the future; and drew a human figure with the Earth as it’s head to remind us that love for human rights and love for our planet can be mutually supporting.
I included photos of the moon and sun to bring balance and a scientific perspective to religious and political symbols linked to Iran, and to acknowledge that not only the Islamic regime but also some monarchist regimes have had human rights issues. I drew the word “Azadi,” which means freedom in Persian, with the colors of the Iranian flag inside minus a symbol on the white band as a way of proposing that Iran might embark on secular democracy in the pursuit of freedom, and transformed the part of the “A” letter on top of the shaft into a white dove to show the possibility of former political prisoners peacefully staying in Iran and not fleeing the country–if human rights in Iran improve, they are allowed free speech and given other peaceful means of addressing their grievances.

I drew the noose used to formally execute political prisoners in Iran (there are others who die as a result of torture), a single cell in Evin prison based upon recollections by former political prisoners, and “۲۰۹” which is “209″ in Persian–the number of the political prisoner ward in Evin. I drew a key moving towards a keyhole with sky behind it to symbolize the fact that even people currently inside the Iranian regime have power to create more freedom for Iranians.

The main text on the poster is presented as a scroll with lettering inspired by the Cyrus cylinder. The ancient Iranian king, Cyrus the Great, is widely credited with creating the first human rights document, freeing slaves and establishing freedom of religion.

If you would like to order a big poster from a super sharp (60.4 MB) PNG file of this poster, please visit http://www.cafepress.com/Jigsawnovich9.488336043.  Please see additional Azadi (freedom) designs at: http://www.cafepress.com/jigsawnovich9 and additional designs on other topics at: http://www.cafepress.com/jigsawnovich5. If you would like to commission designs, logos, or writing please contact me at: worldofashcraft (at) gmail (dot) com

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Good Subtitles Are Vital

by Julie Ashcraft

Subtitles are vital for foreign filmmakers seeking to penetrate the global market. For instance, at least 456 million more people speak English than speak Persian, according to Vistawide. English subtitles are especially crucial for filmmakers pursuing viewers online since English tops the list of languages, according to Internet World Stats.

Foreign filmmakers entering competitions judged by English speakers may quickly experience firsthand the difference a good subtitle editor can make. Confusing phrases, grammatical errors and badly chosen words not only detract from a film, they could cause the film to be misunderstood or even passed over.

A good editor works closely with the writer and director to ensure that the subtitles accurately convey the meaning, emotion and intent of the original–and that the subtitles are concise enough to be read quickly. As an example, here are my subtitle edits for the short film, ATTN: Mr. Democrat, which went on to win an award:

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ATTN: Mr. Democrat

The Democracy Video Challenge Near East division winner for 2010

Writing, Directing, Editing and Composting: Farbod Khoshtinat
Animation: Taraneh Golozar
Music: Shahin Pajoom
Subtitles Editing: Julie Ashcraft

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ATTN: Mr. Democrat Campaign

Julie Ashcraft created an international grassroots campaign to get votes for the ATTN: Mr. Democrat video directed and edited by Farbod “Fred” Khoshtinat, with animation by Taraneh Golizar and music by Shahin Pajoom. A panel of judges selected the video to compete against two others from the Near East during the final round of the Democracy Video Challenge created by the U.S. Department of State.

Taraneh Golozar

The winner was decided by public votes cast via the YouTube DVC portal. The campaign overcame internet blocks against YouTube in Khoshtinat’s home country of Iran and Ashcraft recruited a broad coalition of free speech, democracy and human rights activists and supporters around the world to vote Fred’s video to victory.

Shahin Pajoom

Khoshtinat was flown from his current home in Malaysia to the United States on an expense paid, two week trip including an award ceremony in the Treaty Room with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; two interview segments on Voice of America television; an appearance on The Today Show; a backstage visit to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; meetings with dignitaries and corporate co-sponsors; participation in panel discussions and film workshops; and gala receptions and screenings of ATTN: Mr. Democrat in Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles. Pajoom, now living in California, attended the screening in L. A..

Khoshtinat interviewed on Voice of America Persian

Goals:

  • For ATTN: Mr. Democrat to win the Near East and North Africa division of Democracy Video Challenge 2010
  • To increase global attention to Iranian opposition voters’ struggle for freedom and human rights
  • To bring more viewers to Khoshtinat, Golozar and Pajoom

Khoshtinat appeared on NBC Today Show

Results:

  • ATTN: Mr. Democrat won the Near East and North Africa division of Democracy Video Challenge 2010. 
  • Average daily views for the video increased by 1,400% during the first 30 days of the campaign and by 5,100% since the video won, and have wide global distribution.

Ashcraft’s Strategy

  • Matching political issues presented in the video with potential voter demographics in 34 countries on 6 continents
  • Pinpointing and generating lists of potentially sympathetic activists and high-profile individuals around the world

NASA photo with pinpoints added by Ashcraft showing countries with activists contacted by the campaign

Results:

  • ATTN: Mr. Democrat was enthusiastically received by key organizers and individuals who spread word of the video through their channels of influence, accelerating the speed at which the video went viral.

Ashcraft’s Tactics and Management

ATTN: Mr. Democrat Campaign Literature Ashcraft wrote and designed

  • Recruiting select international campaign volunteers with verifiably supportive political opinions to contact chosen activists and high-profile individuals
  • Clarifying that all voters must be signed in to the Democracy Video Challenge YouTube page for their votes to be counted, what the voting mechanism is, the frequency with which votes may be cast in accordance with the competition rules, and making sure all campaign team members distribute this information uniformly
  • Forwarding Ultrasurf information to voters who requested a proxy server due to internet blocks
  • Monitoring social media and using Google analytics tools to gather numbers, demographics and geographic distribution of ATTN: Mr. Democrat viewers and competing videos

    Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich posted voting info when she found video embeds that didn't include it

  • Gauging the effectiveness of grassroots communications initiated by the campaign versus grassroots communications initiated by the competitors
  • Gauging the impact of publicity generated via the campaign versus publicity generated by media outlets in the competitor’s home country
  • Documenting, translating and relaying to U.S. government IT workers evidence indicating possible vote count hacking during the competition

Winners participated in a panel at the International Republican Institute, one of the DVC sponsors

Results:

  • Votes cast were counted, and ATTN: Mr. Democrat won.
  • Voters living in places where YouTube is blocked were able to access the YouTube DVC site and cast their votes.
  • Markets receptive to ATTN: Mr. Democrat were expanded, and inroads into underrepresented markets were made.
  • ATTN: Mr. Democrat received approximately 10,500 additional views from 5/5/2010-6/15/2010, compared to the closest competitor’s approximately 6,000 additional views from 5/5/2010-6/15/2010.
  • Closeup of viewers by country during voting

  • Warlike statements posted on Facebook and on hardliner websites by supporters of a competitor’s video were successfully counteracted by emphasizing Iranian opposition voters’ struggles for freedom and human rights. The campaign for ATTN: Mr. Democrat persued and received votes from that competitor’s own countrymen, from inside and outside of his own country, as directly reported to the campaign by the voters themselves.

  • Ashcraft’s Media  Advising

  • Researching political affiliations of journalists requesting interviews with ATTN: Mr. Democrat director Farbod “Fred” Khoshtinat, in order to access the risks of political spin and also of retaliation by the Iranian regime if the interview is granted
  • Forwarding interview offers
  • Khoshtinat networks at MPAA reception and screening in Washington, D.C.

    Results:
  • Khoshtinat chose not to give an interview to a particular journalist after Ashcraft discovered that the journalist had worked for a lobby with hardliner tendencies.
  • Khoshtinat is considering granting an interview to a Canadian radio host.
  •  
    Ashcraft’s Publicity Work

  • Writing press releases, events listings, Wikipedia articles and blog posts publicizing Khoshtinat and the video
  • Soliciting columnists, bloggers and editors to write about ATTN: Mr. Democrat and embed the video and voting instructions on their websites
  • Creating the Vote Fred’s Video to Victory Facebook page; adding 30 news posts; archiving links to articles; adding photos; sending invitations; thanking members for voting and for recruiting additional voters

    Results:
  • The Wikipedia article Ashcraft wrote (under her Jigsawnovich pseudonym) about Farbod “Fred” Khoshtinat received 4,336 views from 4/2010 through 9/2010, and administrators of at least eight websites have reposted the Wikipedia article to their sites.
  • Kodoom.com editors featured ATTN: Mr. Democrat and embedded the video after receiving the information from Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich. Escalating daily views corresponding to the Kodoom feature established ATTN: Mr. Democrat as the definitive front runner, and competitors didn’t catch up.

    Google analytics show escalating ATTN: Mr. Democrat views corresponding with 6/9/2010 embeds by (A) Kodoom and Dante Ross

  • Columnist Dante Ross and blogger Homylafayette embedded the video in articles they wrote about ATTN: Mr. Democrat after Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich sent them information.
  • Ross’s 6/9/2010 embed and the 5/18/2010 embed Ashcraft posted on her Jigsawnovich blog helped the video go viral, according to viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com, which commenced reporting on the video from the day Ashcraft first embedded the it on her blog.

    HighSnobiety.com Columnist Dante Ross embedded ATTN: Mr. Democrat

  • ArtSlant.com editors featured ATTN: Mr. Democrat after Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich posted her article promoting the video in the Art Slant international event listings.
  • Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich’s Iranian.com posts regarding ATTN: Mr. Democrat received 1,036 views from 5/16/2010 through 9/23/2010.

Ashcraft’s Editing & Graphic Design

  • Editing the English subtitles for ATTN: Mr. Democrat
    • Writing campaign slogans and advertising copy addressing international English speaking viewers
    • Writing campaign advertising copy specifically targeting Iranian viewers, and soliciting Persian translations of these advertisements

      Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich's 5/18 ATTN: Mr. Democrat embed helped the video go viral

    • Proof reading Persian translations before publication
    • Image & font selection, layout & design for ads
    • Results:

    • The edited English subtitles are closer to the true meaning conveyed by the Persian narration and also more succinct.
    • Variety.com embedded the video featuring one of the word changes Ashcraft made, and an administrator on the  Islamfactor.org forum mentioned the good translation.

      Viral Video Chart commenced reporting ATTN: Mr. Democrat the day Ashcraft/Jigsawnovich embedded the video

    • Persian language advertisements added viewers and intensified their commitment to the daily process of voting for ATTN: Mr. Democrat as allowed by the official rules.

      Viral Video ATTN: Mr. Democrat top embed sites

    • Facebook users reposted the campaign advertisements.
    •  
      Ashcraft’s Marketing 5/16/2010-6/16/2010

    • Placing the video link and voting info into the news stream/onto the Facebook walls of 30 politically sympathetic pages with a sum total of 620,973 members; 11 friends with a sum total of 6,807 friends; and two administrators with a sum total of 878 friends, managing three pages with sum total 2,699 members
    • Sending the video link and voting information via private Facebook messages to 28 page administrators with a sum total 23,816 friends, managing pages with sum total 144,669 members; and to 93 friends with sum total of 92,570 friends

      Variety featured a freeze frame with one of the words Ashcraft changed

    • Sending the video link and voting info via Facebook and Yahoo chat to two page administrators managing pages with sum total 15,281 members, and to two friends with sum total 3 profiles with sum total 8,925 friends
    • Sending the video link and voting info in private messages to 20 YouTube channel administrators with sum total 337,962 subscribers and 36,722 friends

      Campaign literature written by Ashcraft and translated by others into Persian

    • Placing the voting info in comments on the ATTN: Mr. Democrat video Khoshtinat uploaded to YouTube
    • Placing the video link and voting info in original posts on related website forums and in comments on related articles published by The Washington Post, Politico, Tikkun and Raw Story
    • Sending twelve Jigsawnovich1 Twitter tweet links from to articles, event listings, Facebook pages and news items including the video link and voting info
    • Sending 14 Google Buzzes with the video link and voting info
    • Inviting Dj Spooky/Paul D. Miller to help spread the word about the video and competition

      ATTN: Mr. Democrat campaign ad by Julie Ashcraft

    • Personally sending the video link, voting info, press release, and advertisement via email to 26 reporters, bloggers and editors, and to 28 activists, academics, lobbyists, organizations and think tanks.
    • Delegating sending the video link, voting info, press release, and advertisement via email and Facebook messages to 41 activists and organizations attending international rallies demanding freedom, democracy and human rights for Iran on the first anniversary of the 2009 presidential election

      Jigsawnovich1 Twitter tweets

    • Distributing ATTN: Mr. Democrat hardcopy press releases to activists and journalists attending a rally in support of democracy and human rights near the UN in New York on the first anniversary of the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran

      Jigsawnovich Google Buzz

    • Delegating to a campaign worker the posting of hardcopy campaign advertisements at places in Pune, India where politically oriented, internet-savvy people gather
    • &nbsp

      Results:
       

      Dj Spooky/Paul D. Miller

    • Within an hour of Internationally renowned composer Dj Spooky/Paul D. Miller’s Google Buzz, the ATTN: Mr. Democrat viewer analytics map grew noticeably greener.
    • Facebook page administrators and friends recruited by Ashcraft posted the video and voting instructions in their news streams during the competition, and have continued to enthusiastically promote the video on their public and private pages after the video won. Their posts have received many Likes and positive comments, some of which confirmed that the person had just voted or was about to vote for the video. 
    • After being contacted by Ashcraft the administrator of a Facebook page with 8,574 members posted the video and voting information in the page news feed three times.
    • After being contacted by Ashcraft the administrator of a Facebook page with 1,915 members posted the video and voting information in the page news feed three times, and he also sent the video and voting instructions via private messages to all 1,915 members. One of the members, who has 232 friends, shared this post in her news feed twice. Another member, who has 193 friends, shared this post in her personal news feed once. 
    • After being contacted by Ashcraft, the administrator of a Facebook page with 1,724 members posted the video and voting information in the news feed twice and invited 1,426 of his friends to join the Vote Fred’s Video to Victory page.
    • After being contacted by Ashcraft, an individual with 818 Facebook friends posted the video and voting information in his personal news feed eight times. One of his friends, who has 4,969 friends, shared this post in her personal news feed. 
    • After being contacted by Ashcraft, an individual with 525 Facebook friends posted the video and voting information in his personal news feed four times.
    • After being contacted by Ashcraft, four individuals with sum total 7,375 Facebook friends posted the video and voting information into their news feeds one time each.
    • According to Viralvideochart.Unrulymedia.com, ATTN: Mr. Democrat has been shared on Facebook 2,304 times (as of 9/28/2010).
    • Ashcraft’s forum posts about the video have received hundreds of views. The USmessageboard.com forum post has received 286 views (as of 9/25/2010). The Juxtapoz.com forum post has received 194 views (as of 9/25/2010). The RSPersian.net forum post has received 112 views (as of 9/25/2010). 
    • Varied Twitter hash tags linking to articles and posts about the video have encouraged diverse viewership.  
    • Video views originating in India have steadily increased, and recently accelerated after the video was featured on an Indian website.
    • As of 10/1/2010 the only countries on the Google analytics world map that do not show anyone viewing ATTN: Mr. Democrat are Turkmenistan, Papua New Guinea and seven countries in Africa with relatively few internet users.

      ATTN: Mr. Democrat You Tube Viewer Countries as of 10/6/2010

  • Contact Julie at:  worldofashcraft (at) gmail (dot) com
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