If there is a core driver of the Maker Movement, it is the growing Maker community. This community is open and inclusive, vibrant and eclectic, self-organizing and widely distributed. It is the product of many people identifying as Makers, sharing their ideas and projects. Whether they embrace science and technology or arts and crafts, there is a Maker culture generating creative and economic opportunities.

This community first came together at Maker Faire 10 years ago. The idea I had for Maker Faire was simple: create the space for “show-and-tell” conversations with Makers. Meeting Makers and seeing what they do has proven not only compelling but also popular. Maker Faire has continued to grow around the world as a celebration of Makers. Inviting families to come and meet Makers has inspired people of all ages to participate in the Maker Movement. However, I have always wondered how we could solve a couple of problems — where could I find Makers and their projects after Maker Faire? How could I easily connect to them and get more details about their projects? I saw a similar problem in visiting Makerspaces. I thought the Maker community would be well-served if it were easier to connect to Makers.

Today, I’m pleased to announce we are unveiling the beta version of MakerSpace, an online community for Makers, including individuals aspiring to be Makers. MakerSpace gives the Maker community a home for the conversation to continue. Here, Makers of all types will be able to create profiles that describe their interests and background. They will be able to share projects and tell not only “how” they did a project but also “why.” These features will allow Makers to build their identity and create portfolios of what they do as Makers. In addition, as a community site, Makers will be able to follow each other and see new projects from Makers with shared interests. (Makers often tell me that their greatest resource is other Makers.)

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Makerspaces, Maker Faire, and the Internet

Makerspaces have also played an important role in organizing resources for local Makers. Makerspaces provide a shared workshop for Makers to develop projects as well as serve as an on-ramp for anyone interested in becoming a Maker. They provide basic access to tools, materials and expertise, and have established the practices of making in our community. While there are other key elements of the Maker Movement such as technology, Maker Faire and Makerspaces stand out for me as catalysts. Finally, the internet itself has been a huge enabler for connecting Makers around their interests and making it possible for projects to be developed and shared.

This beta version is intended to enhance sharing, communication, and connection among Makers.

At the beta launch, MakerSpace will be initially inhabited by Makers who have created projects that have been shared at Maker Faire. We hope that this will encourage the Maker community in the months ahead to add their profiles and projects. In the near future, we plan to open MakerSpace to the wider Maker community, but for now this is in a limited beta as we build the platform and respond to the interests of you and other Makers.

MakerSpace was designed and built for you. We want your feedback, your ideas and thoughts about what we can do to make it your MakerSpace. MakerSpace will be accepting invite requests, allowing access to a limited number of users.

I personally invite you to join us at MakerSpace.

Update: 

Some people have commented and contacted me personally about our intentions around the use of MakerSpace at MakerSpace.com.    I have discussed this issue with our team, which recognizes the issue and respects the community’s use of the term.    We hope that the following makes clear our intentions.

We acknowledge the issue that some people have raised about our protecting “MakerSpace” as the branding for Makerspace.com in our Terms of Use.   Our steps to protect the use of “MakerSpace” in this limited way are not meant to discourage the use of the term to reference physical spaces where making and collaboration occur.  Rather, what we are trying to protect is our provision of a website for an online community for makers as a natural extension of our Make: and Maker Faire brands, and only that.   We are working to clarify this intention in the Terms of Use.