If you’re coming to our website after seeing the ABC News Nightline episode, welcome! We know Nightline viewers are a smart and curious bunch, so we thought we’d use this opportunity to introduce you (and others who might be new to MAKE) to what we do and why. We’ve got a lot of different things going on and are tremendously excited by the work we do and the global community of do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts we collaborate with on our many projects.
Maker Media is the name of our company, we’re a division of O’Reilly Media, the highly regarded technology publisher. Under the Maker Media umbrella, we produce the quarterly MAKE magazine, run two busy websites, Make: Online and CRAFT, produce annual DIY festivals, called Maker Faires, run a store, called Maker Shed, and we work with Twin Cities Public Television who produce the popular Make: television program on PBS.
MAKE magazine is how we got started in all of this. It’s a quarterly technology projects magazine and a sort of house organ for the maker/DIY movement. Projects in the magazine range from old-school balsa wood and tissue-paper airplanes to what to do with old high-tech gadgets to building autonomous robots from techno-junk. Our current issue, Volume 17, is entitled “Lost Knowledge,” and looks at the technology of the past, and featues projects that celebrate its marvels. The upcoming issue, ReMake: America, will explore sustainability and prospering through challenging times using DIY technology and good ol’ human ingenuity. We produce both a print and a digital edition of our magazine. You can subscribe here and find back issues here.
Make: Online is our award-winning website that you’re reading right now. It is one of the most popular watering holes in cyberspace for makers, crafters, inventors, tinkers, and amateur technologists and scientists of all stripes who come here for breaking DIY stories, original content on building, repairing, and making things, and for how-to project articles. We also have several popular video series that run every week on the site, Weekend Projects, MAKE Presents, and How-To Tuesday, that present cool projects, kit builds, and explain (in plain English) how various technologies work. Here’s a recent Weekend Project:
CRAFT is Make: Online’s sister site, covering the new crafting revolution. This is NOT your mother’s home economics, this is baking, weaving, sewing, knitting, refinishing, and decorating for a tech-savvy 21st century.
Maker Faire is our annual DIY festival, makers meet-up, show and tell, and celebration of creativity, invention, self-directed learning, and the incomparable joys of making. We’ve held Faires in the SF/Bay Area for the last four years and in Austin, TX for the past two. A Maker Faire UK also took place in Newcastle, UK last month, the first one over seas. Last year’s Bay Area Faire attracted some 65,000 people. Apparently, there are more people interested in art cars, a life-size mousetrap game, human-powered carnival rides, rocketry and robots, Tesla coils, and swap-o-ramas than you might think. This year’s Bay Area Faire, May 30 & 31, is inspired by President Obama’s shout-out to “the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things” in his Inaugural address, and his call to begin the “remaking of America.”
The Maker Shed is easy to describe. Think of the coolest technology bookstore, museum gift shop, and craft and electronics stores you can dream up — now roll them all into one. That’s the idea behind the Maker Shed. It’s a year-round online store and we also set up full-size retail operations at each of the Maker Faires. It’s an irresistible collection of books, kits, robots, microcontrollers, science sets, electronics, craft tools and supplies, all curated by us, the people behind MAKE. It’s all of the wondrous stuff we’d want to find in such a store.
To introduce you to MAKE and to the Maker Shed, we’ve put together a special “Welcome to MAKE” bundle. It includes a one-year subscription to MAKE (four issues), a copy of The Best of MAKE, a 380-page collection of our favorite projects from the first ten issues, and a copy of The Maker’s Notebook, a unique project notebook, with plenty of high-quality graph paper for sketching out your projects, and a reference section in the back of weights, measures, facts, figures, and other indispensable info geared towards makers. The bundle saves you $41 off buying the items individually.
Make: television is the DIY series for a new generation! It celebrates all manner of “maker” – the inventors, artists, geeks, basement scientists, and just plain folks who mix new and old technology to create newfangled contraptions. The series encourages everyone to invent, re-invent, recycle, upcycle, and act up. Each half-hour episode inspires millions to think, create, and make cool, unusual, and useful objects in their lives. Some of the projects on the show have included a burrito blaster(!), a VCR-driven cat feeder, a cigar box guitar, a simple digital TV Antenna, a wind turbine, and a how to on building solar-powered robots from junk and basic electronics. Make: television began showing nationwide on Public Television stations and online at makezine.tv in January 2009. All of the episodes are now available online. Here’s a sample from the Maker Workshop, episode 108, on building miniature robots from very basic parts:
We hope you enjoy our offerings and will join us in our quest to put the joy of making back into our hectic modern lives. The full title of our magazine is “Make: technology on your time.” We’re all about taking control of our technology rather than having it overwhelm us. We do everything we can to learn about the technology in our lives, to improve upon it, make it our own, and to share what we’ve learned with the growing community of fellow makers. We hope you’ll join us on this journey. And if you want to get a truly thrilling and eye-opening experience of the length and breadth of the maker movement, come to next month’s Maker Faire. We can assure you it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced and that you will come away truly inspired.
If you have questions about Maker Media or any of our projects, please feel free to ask in the comments feature below.