YouTube sen­sa­tion

Frankie MacDon­ald rec­og­nized for on­line pop­u­lar­ity

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID JALA david.jala@cb­post.com

Frankie MacDon­ald is back in the head­lines, which should come as no sur­prise to fans of Cape Bre­ton’s world-renowned am­a­teur weather­man.

Ear­lier this week, MacDon­ald opened his mail to dis­cover he had re­ceived a ma­jor award from YouTube, the im­mensely pop­u­lar world­wide video shar­ing web­site. As a re­cip­i­ent of the Sil­ver Play Award, he was hon­oured for hav­ing more than 100,000 sub­scribers to his “dogsand­wolves” chan­nel.

With his on­line weather fore­casts, and oc­ca­sional com­edy rou­tines, gar­ner­ing more than 24 mil­lion views in less than six years, the In­ter­net sen­sa­tion has be­come a le­git­i­mate in­ter­na­tional celebrity.

The pop­u­lar on­line so­cial me­dia plat­form Face­book even clas­si­fies Frankie, as he is af­fec­tion­ately known, as a “pub­lic fig­ure.”

“I am re­ally happy to get the award,” said the autis­tic 32-yearold, whose Whit­ney Pier home over­looks Syd­ney’s coal piers.

“I got it be­cause peo­ple like watch­ing my videos all of the time,” he said, dur­ing a quick break from his job at the Mayflower Mall.

MacDon­ald, who has cre­ated an im­pres­sive fol­low­ing with his en­ter­tain­ing and in­for­ma­tive on­line weather fore­casts, has been mak­ing videos and hon­ing his craft for more than a decade.

His grand­mother Rose mar­vels at the pro­fi­ciency MacDon­ald has de­vel­oped with his var­i­ous de­vices.

“He just loves it — he’s on them from the mo­ment he gets up in the morn­ing, it’s what he does,” she said.

MacDon­ald’s rise to celebrity sta­tus be­gan af­ter he started up­load­ing his videos to The Weather Net­work. His more than oc­ca­sional pres­ence on the Canada-wide sta­tion’s web­site in­tro­duced him to the na­tion and he soon be­came known for his en­ter­tain­ing style, pas­sion­ate de­liv­ery and ac­cu­rate weather fore­casts.

Along with his tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess, MacDon­ald also has a re­mark­able re­call when it comes to mile­stone dates.

“I made my first scenery video on De­cem­ber 27, 2007 and I made my first YouTube video on De­cem­ber 16, 2009,” he said.

Since then, his on­line videos have been viewed 24 mil­lion times. And MacDon­ald will tell you that num­ber is prob­a­bly much higher as he re­set his YouTube ac­count in June 2011. He also has more than 46,000 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter and his Face­book home­page has reg­is­tered some 78,000.”

Frankie now has more than 123,000 sub­scribers to his YouTube chan­nel, but it still may take the pop­u­lar Cape Bre­ton man some time to reach YouTube’s next award, the Gold Play But­ton, that rec­og­nizes chan­nels with more than one mil­lion sub­scribers.

And, if he keeps go­ing long enough, there is al­ways the Ruby Play But­ton that hon­ours chan­nels with more than 50,000,000 sub­scribers. The only per­son to re­ceive that award is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjell­berg, an on­line Swedish web-based co­me­dian and video pro­ducer bet­ter known as ‘PewDiePie’. Last year, Time Mag­a­zine named Kjell­berg to its list of the world’s 100 most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple.

DAVID JALA/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Am­a­teur weather­man and In­ter­net celebrity Frankie MacDon­ald shows off the Sil­ver Play But­ton award he re­ceived from YouTube in recog­ni­tion of sur­pass­ing more than 100,000 sub­scribers to his “dogsand­wolves” chan­nel.

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