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Looking for Review of My Essay on Maker Communities and Technology


mmvinson 1 / -  
Apr 29, 2021   #1

the topic of your choice



My ENG102 Professor is requiring a research project on the topic of our choosing. I chose to discusss maker communities, the origin of them, and their transformation to modern civilization. Any input would be appreciated!

"Necessity is the mother of invention." This well known idiom has been used for over 500 years. It speaks to the need to create, which has existed in human civilization for thousands of years. Collectively, humans feel a need to be accepted into a community, in regards to many interests or habits. There is data to explain the phenomenon that is the maker community in the modern era, and social media plays a large part in that. Maker communities utilize innovation in modern society through technology, collective inspiration, business innovation, and communication.

To understand the needs and resources that would be beneficial in maker communities, we must first identify what, exactly, a "maker community" is. A maker, quite simply, is someone who makes things. The straightforward explanation of what encompasses a maker community is when a group of hobbyists of one particular art, craft, or trade commune together to share ideas and resources (Cole). This could be something as simple as a group of children meeting weekly to assemble lego creations to the complex endeavors of building infrastructures for entire civilizations. When we look at the saying "necessity is the mother of invention", it truly speaks to the behavior of creatives within society. While maker communities have been around for thousands of years (Mark), there has always been a need for these groups to adapt to their surroundings and technological advancements.

One of the oldest known human civilizations in history is the Harappan people of the Indus Valley region, located in Southeast Asia around the year 3000 BCE (Britannica). It is an interesting point in history as the language used by the Harappans has never been able to be interpreted, but we still are able to infer so much about them through other historical findings. Mohenjo-Daro is the best maintained, excavated and recorded site of the Harappan people, noting that they were far more advanced in many ways. The Mohenjo-Daro site has been able to teach us that the Harappan people in the Indus Valley had irrigation systems, their own write language, and a monetary trade system - all aspects of a civilization far younger than theirs (Mark) Two points of interest in regards to the community they built were the discovery of cart mark fossils and Harappan artifacts encrusted with gems and stones not native to the Indus Valley region (Britannica). This shows us that not only did this community contain craftsmen who could manufacture such artifacts, but that they had also used land trade routes to acquire these resources. While not the main focus of research on this civilization, it is an interesting note to the notion of the necessity of makers in a community, as well as the utilization of technology.

There is scientific data to explain why people gravitate towards collective interest groups. McLeod explains Maslow's hierarchy of needs. In terms of esteem, love and belonging, humans have an internal desire to be accepted that can be fulfilled by a sense of community. Additionally, maker communities are groups of individuals who all work individually or collaboratively to build and create things. Some of the things these communities produce are art, physical goods such as jewelry, woodwork, and functional items for everyday life. As a person within a community full of creatives and makers, the sense of belonging is strong - and useful. To be a maker in a collective group full of creatives provides an additional influx of inspiration (Riordon). When technology began advancing to the point of creating virtual communities for makers and creatives to convene, the architecture of a maker community vastly changed.

The use of technology, specifically referring to the internet, has increased exponentially in the 21st century. According to Statista, approximately 60% of the global population - 4.7 billion people - has internet access (Johnson). Data shows that the top 17 social media platforms have a combined usage by 16.2 million active users (Johnson). This serves to show that the internet plays an active role in the lives of the majority of people, making it a valuable tool for creators to utilize. Technological advancement in the 21st century has provided creators with multiple platforms with which they can expand their community. On the single creator platform Etsy, known for providing users with a place to sell handmade goods, there are currently 2.1 million users ("Craft".) Maker communities provide an opportunity for creators to learn from each other. By sharing individual knowledge within their community, they expand the base of knowledge for all. This expansion of knowledge can spread like a web of information (Cole). A very simple example of this can be illustrated by a simple art class, wherein students are taught information that they can then use and share with others. There are multiple creative platforms under the umbrella of social media (May). The benefit of these platforms in particular is that, because they are geared towards makers and creators, they are streamlined and fortified with the attributes a creative community would benefit from, such as a clear user interface or larger data cloud (May).

The internet age has allowed makers to expand their audience of potential buyers to much greater numbers than ever before. Within the Etsy platform, in 2019, there were 45.7 million purchases made. That number rose to 60.3 million purchases by July 2020 (La Barre). By utilizing platforms that encourage and promote handmade goods, makers and small business owners are able to gain exposure and increase sales. A brilliant example of a maker community utilizing technology to its advantage is Culture Hustle. Culture Hustle is an arts collective and art supply production company founded by British artist Stuart Semple.

The foundation upon which Culture Hustle was built and thrives is one of a sort of memetic-style level of petty hijinx. In 2016, Vantablack, often referred to as "the blackest black" was made available to the public by the aerospace firm Surrey NanoSystems, it was lauded for its ability to absorb almost 100% of visible light (Rogers). Anish Kapoor, a British artist known for his sculpture "Cloud Gate" in Chicago, jokingly referred to as "The Bean" due to it's stark resemblance to a kidney bean, acquired the rights to Vantablack from Surrey NanoSystems. Kapoor was able to systematically ensure that no other artist or creative would have access to Vantablack for any purposes, commercial or otherwise. As a result, Semple fostered Culture Hustle into a production company and began producing jocularly named paint pigments, such as "The Pinkest Pink". When purchasing from Semple's online store, the buyer must swear that they are not Anish Kapoor and that they will not share these pigments with Anish Kapoor. While it is a clever bit within the art community, the support for Semple's community of makers has been remarkable. A recent Culture Hustle Kickstarter for an eco-friendly spray paint replacement in April 2021 was fully funded within thirty minutes of creating the campaign and received over $250,000 of funding during the course of the campaign (Kickstarter).

Communication is one of the goals of all interactions. When a maker produces a piece of work, they have an intent behind creating it, whether it's utilitarian, cathartic, or beautiful. Referring to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, having an outlet with which a creator can share their work with others via social media helps to fulfill three of the five tiers (McLeod). The most important, arguably of these would be self actualization, as it is an internal desire to be and do one's best. Self actualization and self esteem can be critical to any creator, so the outlet of finding even one person within the realm of social media platforms who appreciates and finds value in their work is incredibly valuable (Sellars). One of the most famous maker communities was founded in New York in the 1960s - The Factory. The art studio founded and nurtured by Andy Warhol fostered some of the most prolific and well known art and artists of mid-century American pop art, such as Julian Schnabel and Dennis Hopper ("Inside the Factory".)

Though human civilization has always needed "things", be it functional, ceremonial, or simply beautiful, and the makers in every community and every civilization in recorded history were there to provide. Needs have changed over time and, moreover, technology has changed. This has allowed creatives within collective groups to redirect their pursuits and allowed more voices in creative communities to be heard. Technology and social media has allowed artists in a modern era to expand their global reach for inspiration, share their message in similar niche markets, and provided the catharsis that is often brought about by doing and creating meaningful work.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,630 3476  
Apr 30, 2021   #2
There is data to explain ... in that.

Please provide more clarity in this particular sentence. The sentence structure is incorrect and therefore does not make too much sense to the reader. You should 1st mention the maker community before providing information that the data to explain the phenomenon is based on that terminology.

A maker, quite simply, is someone who makes things.

You have mentioned in the history of the maker community that it has been in existence for over 500 years. This definition will be better understood by the reader if you offer a historical perspective on the word prior to the definition. Based on the historical aspect of a maker community, how would you say that the maker community came to be. What is the background of the maker community ? Why did it become necessary to develop a maker community ? Prior to its modern definition, what would you say the historical definition of a maker community was? Would you say that the historical definition carries over to modern times?

This shows us ...acquire these resources

You present this as a given fact. What evidence supports this assumption?

There are aspects of this presentation where you have successive in text citations, However you fail to develop a personal understanding and explanation for the citations. So these citations come across more as just a cut and paste word filler in the essay rather than something that made a significant impact on your understanding of the term you are trying to discuss. It is important that you give an insight regarding the citations in order to prove that you did not merely use the words of someone else as presentations for the benefit of your paper. Additionally, It is better for your research to limit the number of citations per paragraph. Professors and teachers are normally not impressed by students who rely on citations in every paragraph. This is often viewed as a lazy way to complete a research document.

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