An Introduction to MAKE

An Introduction to MAKE

If you’re coming to our site after having seen MAKE’s founder Dale Dougherty on CNN’s The Next List, welcome! We thought we’d take this opportunity to introduce you (and others who might be new to MAKE) to some of what we do here 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 with whom we collaborate.

MAKE is a division of O’Reilly Media, the highly regarded technology publisher. Under the MAKE banner, we produce the quarterly MAKE magazine, run a number of websites (Makezine, Make: Projects, CRAFT, Make: Kit Reviews), have one of the more popular channels on YouTube, produce annual DIY festivals called Maker Faire, and run an etail business called Maker Shed.

MAKE Magazine

MAKE magazine is how we got started in all of this. It’s a quarterly technology projects magazine and a house organ for the maker/do-it-yourself movement. Projects in the magazine range from old-school balsa wood and tissue-paper airplanes to what to do to keep aging high-tech gadgets alive to building autonomous robots from junk. Our current issue, Volume 29, is entitled “DIY Superhuman,” and … You can subscribe here and find back issues here.

One of our MAKE special issue publications,
the Ultimate Kit Guide 2012 is the award-winning website that you’re reading right now. It’s one of the most popular online watering holes for makers, crafters, inventors, tinkerers, and amateur tech and science nerds of all stripes. People come here for breaking DIY news and information, original content on building, repairing, and modifying their technology, and for step-by-step project articles on a broad range of topics. We also have several popular video series that run regularly on this site which showcase cool projects, kit builds, and explain (in plain English) how various technologies work. Here’s a recent one of our videos, with one of our amazing kid-makers, Super Awesome Sylvia, showing how to make “squishy circuits:”

YouTube player

Maker Faire

Maker Faire is our annual DIY festival, makers meet-up, show and tell, and celebration of creativity, invention, and the incomparable joys of making stuff. We’ve held Faires in the SF/Bay Area for the last six years, New York City for the past two, and Faires in Austin, Texas, and Detroit. Last year’s Bay Area Faire attracted some 100,000 people. Apparently, there are more people interested in giant flaming neurons, a life-size Mousetrap game, human-powered carnival rides, robot giraffes, and musical Tesla coils than you might think. If you’ve never been to a Maker Faire, mark your calendars. The next Bay Area Faire is May 19th & 20th and World Maker Faire in New York City is Sept 29 & 30. See the Faire site for more details and info about Mini Maker Faires taking place all over the US (and the world).

Maker Shed

The Maker Shed is easy to describe. Quick: think of the coolest, nerdiest bookstore, museum gift shop, arts and craft shop, and electronics emporium you can possibly dream up — now roll them all into one. You’re in the Maker Shed! The Shed houses an irresistible collection of books, kits, robots, microcontrollers, science sets, electronics, craft tools and supplies, all curated by us, the people behind MAKE and Maker Faire. It’s all of the wondrous stuff we’dhope to find in such a store. Maker Shed is a year-round online store, and we also set up pop-up retail shops at each of our Maker Faires.

We hope you enjoyed our little tour and will join us in our quest to put the joy of making back into our hectic modern lives. We hope you’ll join in the fun. And if you want to get a truly thrilling and eye-opening experience of the length and breadth of the DIY movement, come to a 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 MAKE, or any of our projects, please feel free to ask in the comments below, or email us.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn