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Making 'MakerCulture: Taking Things into Our Own Hands'

Check out the blog, wiki, podcasts, photostream and YouTube channel and feature stories, all part of a new series on The Tyee.

By Wayne MacPhail 15 Jan 2010 |

Wayne MacPhail directed the MakerCulture project. He is a veteran journalist who teaches at Western Ontario University's School of Journalism and serves on the board of

For 12 weeks in the fall of 2009, 45 online journalism students at Ryerson University and the University of Western Ontario worked together to document the evolving Maker Culture community.

Maker Culture? That's coders, fabricators, foodies, artists, educators, activists, citizen and even scientists grabbing the Do-It-Yourself ethic with both hands and changing our world in the process.

These are people who aren't just making things, they're making a point of sharing what they've learned, what they've made, and why. Often, for free.

Makers are responding directly, locally to globalization, commercialization, copyright and central command and control.

And, they're everywhere: building printers that can print themselves, mashing up music, doing science at home, changing their cities and countries, even imagining how we could print out our own organs. And nearly four dozen students caught up with the movement as it grew.

Sometimes they even helped it grow. You'll see.

Multi-media, multi-parts, multi-audiences

Each episode will contain a podcast on the rabble podcast network, video clips on the MakerCulture YouTube channel and a feature story right here on The Tyee. Look for new episodes each week over the next three months.

This a feature series that is a series of firsts: The first time Ryerson and Western have worked together journalistically, the first time The Tyee and have co-published and the first time journalism students have used social media tools so completely from the very beginnings of a story. The series includes:

A blog: You can see a diary of our progress here, at the Maker Culture blog we've built over the past three months here.

A wiki: Look behind the scenes at the wiki (collaborative website) we used to create the series here.

Photos: Check out our photostream.

Videos: On our You Tube channel.

It's all there because what we learned is, you work on a series like this, you learn a thing or two about how to be a maker yourself.

We hope you enjoy it.  [Tyee]

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