For those in making, Maker Faire and Make Magazine were a place of support, creativity, and the latest 3D printer reviews. As many found out via news online, Make would cease operations this month.
When an institution like Make closes, we in the maker community might think – how can we even move forward? What will we do now that we can’t get projects delivered to our door and discover new opportunities?
With Open Educational Resources (OER) becoming more well-known within in higher education we can view the closing of Make as an opportunity to embrace creativity and sharing our projects, our data, our ideas.
Spaces like Instructables and Thingiverse allow us to share both tutorials and models. YouTube allows us to share through video, and sites like Pressbooks allow for inexpensive open publishing, but we will need to continue to curate, share and find information. That is the hard part!
In losing Make we lose their creative content aggregation and the connection made through Maker events, as we listened, created and found new products together in person. Make was a central place for content aggregation and thought. For us in higher education, we’ve begun to make these spaces but must continue to adapt. One of the challenges of forums and social media sites that makers are likely to gather in, is the linear structure of the conversations; we’re always going to miss information or lose our focus when sifting and searching through content created on forums, Twitter, and Facebook Groups – which seem to be the main places for the sharing of data and content outside of the Makerspaces we call home.
Evolving technologies and new information aggregation opportunities offered through technology like AI may further change how we seek and find information now that we’ve lost Make, but we the maker community must continue to contribute, create and share in new ways.