The maker movement = the typosphere?

Surely someone out there in the ever-growing typosphere has posted about the maker movement, and I’m just late to the party remarking on it here. Is the maker movement an answer to the question of whether you can earn money with a typewriter?

I’ve always faintly been aware of Make magazine, thinking it was just another source of information about the well-established D.I.Y movement (and therefore haven’t showed it much interest, as I’m unlikely to ever find the time to can my own food or build a water purifier out of diodes and fishing nets) but Forbes describes it as people who “create, build, design, tinker, modify, hack, invent, or simply make something” from the intersection of analog and tech. Isn’t this essentially Clickthing, among others of you who’ve modified cameras, typewriters, and other offline tools?

I’ve got my money on you guys to be the next big thing in the maker movement.


  1. That’s where the usb typewriters came from so definitely. This has a lot of overlap with ham radio as both feel “if you can’t remove the cover, it’s not really yours.”

  2. We are big fans of Make magazine and enjoy their daily blog content. We went to our first mini Maker Faire last summer when it came to Kansas City. I finally got around to blogging on the experience in December.

    We’re watching schedules. I intend to drag the family to one of the main Maker Faires in San Francisco, NYC or Detroit this year. Take a look at the Make magazine photo and video blogs. People are making and repurposing amazing things.

    The maker movement plays with an interesting blend of modern and anachronistic technologies. Even better, there are now collective maker and hacker spaces where nerds get together for creative destruction.

    I don’t think a working display of typewriters would be out of place at a Faire. Introducing people to the experience and talking through what’s under the hood and how to get one running would save more than a few typewriters from the key chopping masses.

    Certainly, a USB typewriter conversion would be higher level maker. I think the blending of old and new on the Typosphere qualifies as well. I’ve heard people commenting on how they thought amateur radio was a dying art. That’s until they find out about old routers being hacked into repeaters and use of voice over IP as part of the radio experience. Typosphereans put highly refined mechanical technology on the Interweb.

    At my eleven year old daughter’s insistence, we are taking a HAM class together. I agree with notagain that HAM is very much prototypical maker. There is even a Youtube video made by a teen discussing the link between radio operators, builders and the modern maker movement.

    Be sure to check out the Hackaday website as well as the Make blogs.

    Welcome to the rabbit hole!

  3. Radio was perhaps the original maker kind of hobby. In the early days of radio if you wanted to listen you had to make it. This had to do with cost and the lack of commercially available receivers whether a crystal set or a more sophisticated receiver. Ham radio became and still is a big part of the maker kind of hobby as most hams into the 60s made much of their equipment. Now mostly QRPers and antenna makers make things although there are still hams that make quite a bit more. The list of making could go on, wood workers, audio hobbyests (spelling?) those who make their own clothes and outdoors equipment. Nice post.

  4. I must look further into this.

    The Moon family is a family of re-purposers. We take things apart for fun, creating (mostly useless) new things out of the old.
    This is one of the great things about living in a violently, vigorously consumerist society: there’s lots of junk for us scavengers.

  5. I read a Wired article about makers which highlighted what people are doing with 3D printers, which I think are eventually going to be very useful and practical for supplying missing typewriter parts. There is a synergy between our two groups, for sure.

  6. That’s my Fallow Fields Manufacturing Co. in a nutshell, Richard! Let’s start with those change-a-type elements and see how that goes.

  7. We’re totally planning on hauling the kids to the Bay Area Maker’s Faire this spring if the budget allows. I’d say the movements are very simpatico: people making do, and getting their hands greasy while they embiggen their brains.