chapter  13
14 Pages

The Role of Online Communication in a Maker Community

WithBreanne K. Litts, Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, Maria Bakker

This chapter helps to understand online asynchronous interactions and what role such interactions play in supporting or shaping a maker community. It chapter explores how the Internet supports maker communities, and conducted a phenomenological investigation of how asynchronous online communication affords community building in a single makerspace, Midwest Makers. Durga extended the work by looking at the emergence of an interest-based community of Civilization "modders", those who change the game itself through programming. Perhaps the closest parallel to understanding how makers use asynchronous communication in their making practices is in studies of the Scratch community. The public online Google group and face-to-face monthly public meetings represent two on-ramps for people to check out the space to see what happens there and to participate peripherally in the Midwest Makers community. The Maker Movement has been described as democratizing: "Now, almost anyone can innovate. Now, almost anyone can make. Now, with the tools available at a makerspace, anyone can change the world".