A few years ago – four to be exact, in 2015 – we launched the Independent Makers Network (IMN or IndieMakersNet) as an informal association of independent makers and STEM, STEAM and Steam maker festival organizers to address what we saw as an impending departure from the naturally innovative, independent spirit of the DIY movement towards a commercially driven reliance on the expertise of “professional” makers of magazines, products and events. A practice as old as humankind – creating solutions and gadgets and art for every day challenges, fun and personal enjoyment was becoming a commercial enterprise.
That’s not a bad thing, in and of itself. The rising popularity of the “maker movement” reawakened ordinary people to traditional trades, skills and crafts, repackaging concepts and ideas once relegated to the pages of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science – still wonderful magazines and online resources today – to somewhat friendlier general public formats in the way of maker festivals and more inclusive consumer magazines and products. But then, in the way of any popular trend, a community of expertise rose up around it and it started to look like another thing you had to learn to do, instead of simply something you did.
Developed as a community building project of Eureka! Factory ,which annually produces Gulf Coast MakerCon in collaboration with community partners across Tampa Bay, IMN’s goal was – and is – to provide an open, collaborative gathering and communications space for all makers. However, life happened and the E!F and FCDI crew and friends got caught up in an exciting opportunity to develop a precedent setting public space called the Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) Fab Lab. Just as AMRoC Fab Lab formally opened its doors to the public, Maker Media announced it was halting operations. So we figured it was a good time to freshen up and relaunch.
IMN’s collaborative community is intended to support DIY self-reliance and self-sufficiency, empowering people to develop the knowledge and skills they want and need to make whatever it is they want to make, to be creative and successful self-starters.
Independent of brand, we can talk about all kinds of magazines and products, honestly assess things on their own merits, and freely celebrate in the truest DIY spirit of independent, self-reliant, unfettered creativity, curiosity , discovery and fun!
Here you’ll find a Calendar to list your independently produced community maker festivals, a blog where you can put out calls for makers and project collaborators, a Makers Library to find resources, a Maker Festival Directory featuring independent events from around the world, and a related social media network where you can connect and share your stories.
We also welcome guest bloggers, shared resources and how-tos about events, programs and festivals, and generally anything related to the community of makers and maker and DIY festival events.
So welcome, have fun, and whatever you do and wherever you do it, Make it Great!