Tran's mother and father, both refugees who left Vietnam for Australia in 1981, previously practiced law and literary lecturing, respectively. After they resettled in Sydney, however, Tran's mother found employment in the postal service, while her father became a public school teacher. Tran credits her parents for making the success she has enjoyed possible, once writing that they both "endured so much to give my sister and I great lives."
Tran was raised in Western Sydney, and studied at Meriden School in Strathfield, where she graduated in 2004. After high school, she pursued teaching for two years before switching to, and later completing a degree in, Digital Media at the University of New South Wales.
As of July 2017, Tran has over 400 videos available on her YouTube channel. Tran created her first video on 12 September 2006, and it now has over 700 thousand views.
Tran has over 1.85 million subscribers and more than 562 million video views. Her popularity has attracted wide-ranging media coverage, including interviews and appearances in print, on television, online and on the radio. The Sydney Morning Herald, Western Australia Today, B&T Magazine, Venus Zine, Der Spiegel, Seventeen, Báo Viêt Luận Online, Việt Tribune, VnExpress, Triple J, and the Hot30 Countdown are among the highlights. Her passionate defence of Vegemite, made in response to a YouTube video by Ben Going, was featured on the Australian television programme A Current Affair on February 2007, as part of the Vegemite wars segment.
Tran has been widely recognised for her creativity and Internet savvy. In 2007, a year after uploading her first video, she was foremost among the Australian YouTube celebrities invited to participate in the launch of YouTube Australia. She was commissioned by The Sydney Morning Herald as a contributor and Real World Correspondent to their technology vlog Digital Life, a position that complemented Séamus Byrne, the program's then principal anchor. Although her skits were specifically written and created for Digital Life, they were produced almost entirely in the same manner and form as her YouTube material. In 2011, Tran made the paper's annual list of Sydney's 100 most influential people.
Tran has also actively participated in several award shows and conferences. In May 2009, for example, Tran was among the first of the featured speakers to open "Creative Sydney" at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2010, Tran spoke at the Entertainment Gathering (EG) convention in Monterey, California and went on to deliver a well received presentation at ideaCity in Toronto, Canada later that same year. More recently, she took part in the 2013 Social Star Awards, announcing the nominees for the Most Popular Sports Person in a short Communitychannel style video, the Australian Screen Industries and Audiences Conference and spoke at the Commercial National Radio Conference in Brisbane, Australia this past October.
Tran was nominated for "Best YouTube Channel or Personality" and "Funniest YouTube Channel" by Mashable at their 2009 Open Web Awards and received the second-most votes in Michael Buckley's Miss YouTube contest. Beginning in 2010, Internet Critic TC Chandler put Tran on his long running "100 Most Beautiful Faces" list. He would do so again in 2011 and 2012.
The analytics firm TubeMogul placed Tran on their list of top earners from YouTube advertising in 2010. According to TubeMogul, she made over one hundred thousand dollars that year, enough to claim the tenth spot overall. Based on data released by YouTube, her YouTube channel had more views in one week in March 2011 than many of the most popular television shows on Australian television. Tran also worked as a Sydney correspondent for The Project's Metro Whip Around segment. In 2011, she appeared as a guest on an episode of the third series of Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.
As of July 2017, Tran has more than 260,000 followers on Twitter, posting upwards of 9,400 personal tweets for fans.
Tran's videos typically involve a monologue in front of the camera, voice over, and skits acted out almost exclusively by herself. Common themes include observational and self-deprecating humour, as well as stream-of-consciousness commentary on social dilemmas, such as how much money to spend on gifts for friends and appropriate telephone etiquette. Additional examples find Tran mocking the strange and cliched practices of advertisers, a practical joke by an ultrasound technician, and, more recently, the high prices in mini-bars. Occasionally, she will make parodies of other YouTube videos. Of these, her take on "How to Fake a Six-pack" is wildly popular and is the most viewed Communitychannel video to date. More serious responses range from racism and depression to national identity and natural disasters. Her comments on the February 2009 Victorian bushfires, now commonly referred to as Black Saturday, are one such noteworthy example.
Tran usually ends her videos with a segment referred to as "Porno Music/Comment Time", where she posts and responds to comments on her previous videos, over a melody stereotypically used in pornographic films. Her final clip is an animated clip reading "Your Mum Rates Me," though this varies depending on the occasion.
In early 2009, Tran released a video under the title "There's no time!!! Last words" in which she promised to create a tutorial on how to make lamingtons, an Australian treat. As of July 2017, she has yet to make it.
Complementing official Communitychannel uploads, Tran periodically rewards discerning viewers with "unlisted" videos only available to those who have the link; notable examples include "Careful Touch", "Password Etiquette", and "N5".
Though long intervals between videos have been a disappointment to many fans, most have made light of her absences with humour. Since March 2013, the frequency of Tran's postings has increased.
Capitalizing on her sizable YouTube presence, Tran partnered with Lonely Planet in 2010 to make a series of travel videos. These vlogs, delivered in Communitychannel's trademark style, chronicled Tran's global journey as she visited some of the most popular tourist attractions around the world, including Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Egypt. In an article that centered on Communitychannel's brand, keen business sense and authenticity, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that her Lonely Planet collaboration is regarded as "amazingly successful." About six months after returning home from her trip, Tran co-launched a travel app for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the country's former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.
In a July 2011 interview with Forbes magazine, Tran revealed that, while uncertain about her future, she has contemplated the possibility of no longer making videos, this to more actively pursue her passion for writing. In 2012, Tran told the Australian Way that she was busy writing a script for a romantic comedy, an effort she hopes will one day find its way onto the silver screen.
In March 2014, Visit Melbourne and Tran partnered up and released 2 Melbourne travel videos, the first being about Melbourne's food culture, and the second about Melbourne's fashion in preparation for the Melbourne Fashion Festival. These videos were similar to the Lonely Planet videos, showing both useful information and using Community Channel type comedy.
In 2014, Tran was listed on New Media Rockstars' Top 100 Channels, ranked at number 80.
In December 2014 Samsung Australia released a series of ten tutorial videos on their YouTube channel for the Samsung Galaxy S5 featuring Tran. She presented the videos in her own scenario based comedy style.
Tran is a vegan. She also owns a cat. She lives with her partner Rowan Jones, who has featured occasionally in her videos.