I didn’t mean to drink the maker movement Kool-Aid. It happened by mistake. I was swept away by how impressive Maker Media is, and how it’s succeeded by taking the opposite route from other media enterprises.
Today Maker Media is a multipurpose machine. The company publishes a number of magazines and books each year, have a robust web presence, a large YouTube presence, and sell products online on Maker Shed. And they host Maker Faires, festivals that celebrate the “DIY mindset,” showcased through art, electronics, and craft projects. The first was held in 2006. There are now 151 worldwide.
For reference, the 2015 Maker Faires had over 1.1 million visitors — the same audience size as Taylor Swift’s 1989 world tour.
Maker Media holds a number of additional events a year; free to attend Maker Camps designed to inspire children, and MakerCon’s, which give professionals the tools they need to run full-time maker businesses.
I went to Make: Magazine’s pop-up Christmas store in San Francisco to meet Dale Dougherty, the founder of Maker Media. He founded Make: Magazine a decade ago, and unwittingly godfathered a movement that’s spread across America, culminating in a Maker Faire held on The White House lawn last year.
The definition of a maker is someone who creates or produces things, and this can be anything: tech startups, crafting, robots, woodworking. Basically, it’s participating in a hobby that’s proactive, instead of reactive. Building an LED dragon vs. watching The Real Housewives. Read more…