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A world for the making

By Gareth Branwyn

Editor-In-Chief of The Make Website

In advance of the Maker Faire in the SF Bay Area, we've asked Make Magazine, one of our YouTube Partners, to help celebrate the makers among us.

Video sharing is a major catalyst for do-it-yourself enthusiasts of all stripes. Many of those inspired by the Faires and the general and growing DIY movement, so vibrantly alive online, turn to online videos for learning the skills they need to undertake projects, to see other's finished projects, and to continue to be inspired by what's possible when their own creative juices start running a quart low. It would almost be unheard of to think about or start to undertake a DIY project these days without doing a YouTube search to see what videos are available on the subject.

This weekend, the Bay Area will once again play host to this DIY community at Maker Faire, celebrating its tenth show (which has so far pitched its tent in the Bay Area, Austin, Detroit, and New York). To give you an idea of what's out there for the budding maker, here are a few examples of tutorial videos, project demos, and jaw-dropping inspirationals.

Tubalcain is a favorite among metal shop geeks. He's a retired machine shop teacher, now passing on a career's worth of skill and work-a-day wisdom to a new generation. Imagine what treasures would be lost if folks like Tubalcain didn't have the opportunity to easily record and share their amazing knowledge with others.

Joseph DeRose is a 13 year old kid who decided to go all-out with a fully-functional Halloween costume from the sci-fi adventure video game Metroid. He shared progress videos on YouTube (and MAKE). His father told us that the accolades and “fame” he got helped inspire him to keep going to finish this very ambitious project. We hear this all of the time, how the notoriety and high-fives that come with posting videos of in-progress or finished projects greatly fuels the process (not to mention ones ego).

For this year's Maker Faire, we produced a series of short profiles from across the spectrum of makers who'll be showing at the Faire, from instrument builders to food preservationists to custom motorcycle makers. As wonderful and diverse as this series is, it's only a taste of the many flavors offered by the Faire. Keep an eye on the MAKE YouTube channel and the MAKE site for lots of video coverage and more maker and project profiles, which will all likely inspire a new round of makers, new future Faire exhibitors, and new slew of YouTube videos.

Some 80,000 people attended last year's Bay Area event and more are expected this year, with nearly a thousand “makers” showing off everything from battling robotic warship models to wacky art cars and all manner of arts and crafts to more robots and clever computer-controlled widgets than you can shake a soldering iron at. The show is an almost mind-altering display of endless creativity, inventiveness, and technical prowess, presented in an accessible “you can too” spirit and an enthusiastic geeky state fair atmosphere. It's almost impossible to go to a Faire and not come away inspired to do something. As one maker told us after one Bay Area Faire: “I became a maker the day I left the show.” He came back the next year as an exhibitor.