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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening view of 21st century trends in arts and crafts etc
This is an exciting book on an interesting and relevant subject, belied, I think, by a dull title, "Making is connecting". But what could David Gauntlett do with the wide subject he was trying to cover?

The compass of this book is vast, so I homed in on something I know, namely, "knitting", intrigued that this even has a mention, however, its inclusion is...
Published on 26 April 2011 by Elizabeth S. Wells

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Democracy of The Internet.
A relatively dry text, "Making Is Connecting" explores the idea - that making is connecting : by joining together separate ingredients and components that we are connecting ideas and making a new, unique identity. Though, perhaps, it extends the metaphor too far, it does posit, usefully that the connections we make with other people are a form of creativity, that all art...
Published on 14 July 2011 by Mr. M. A. Reed


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening view of 21st century trends in arts and crafts etc, 26 April 2011
By 
Elizabeth S. Wells (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an exciting book on an interesting and relevant subject, belied, I think, by a dull title, "Making is connecting". But what could David Gauntlett do with the wide subject he was trying to cover?

The compass of this book is vast, so I homed in on something I know, namely, "knitting", intrigued that this even has a mention, however, its inclusion is clarified by a quote from Joanne Turney in her book, "The Culture of Knitting".

Joanne says that knitting "offers a means of creativity, of confidence in one's own ability to "do", as well as occupying a space in which one can just "be".

This is amplified by the comment on the back of the book, that, "Gauntlett offers a terrific account of how creativity, craft and community intersect in the 21st Century" - [Clay Shirky, author of "Here Comes Everybody"].

Not surprisingly, in the sweep of David Gauntlett's vision of present trends, a parallel is drawn to William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. He demonstrates how the contemporary interest in DIY and the "handmade", can be viewed as a resurgence of the arts and crafts ethos in this present century.

As already a part of the "make do and mend" generation - my mother was born 1903, and I was born just after the WWII - I don't know how much I am part of this revolution of independence from reliance on the world of consumerism - but I do know I am in sympathy with it.

Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting (Craft: Projects)William Morris: A Life for Our Time
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting-edge Media and Communication Studies course!, 28 April 2011
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This book explores "the social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web2.0".

In fact it begins before DIY (but after knitting) with insights about "craft" from Victorian thinkers John Ruskin and William Morris. They were critics of the new industrialization and what it did to the world of making, of manufacture. And more specifically, what it did to those workers caught up in the industrial process which denied any individual creativity to the worker who was there to aid the machines in making predesigned product.

The author extends this discussion to emphasize the importance and value of "making" in everyday life, and how new technologies are taking the making and distribution of creative work out of the hands solely of professionals. And the various ways in which this is a good thing.

Throughout the discussion Gauntlett leads the reader through some very stimulating and critical arguments, ideas and research from a wide range of sources including his own. The discussion is always balanced, weighing counter-arguments throughout. It is very clearly presented, with plenty of signposting to help the reader follow the argument making this an easy and involving read.

I now feel like I've had a bit of a crash-course in cutting-edge Media and Communications Studies. Has made me think about my life in a different way.

Highly recommended, even to www skeptics!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Connecting!, 30 May 2011
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As the author states "This book is built on a broad general understanding that people are happier, more engaged in the world, and more likely to develop and learn, when they are doing or making things for themselves, rather than having things done and made for them" The book is a clarion call for creativity, for craftsmanship and social connection. 'Making is connecting' is its key phase.
That being said, the book is a delight to read. David Gauntlett's style is highly accessible, yet very thorough. Each new concept is defined carefully, everyday examples are given, and plenty of opportunity is given for extra research. It should be included in every booklist for students of communications, media studies, sociology, general studies, and modern politics. Teachers will also be delighted to use it as a 'dip-in' resource book. If this isn't enough, more information is actually provided on a web site.
I finished the book wanting to sign-up for David Gauntlett's courses. My only quibble is that his argument would have been better served if he had used Twitter rather than Facebook as an example of an online interactive service. Maybe next time...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linked up for satisfaction, 12 April 2013
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The basic premiss of this book is that people are happier and more involved and engaged with the people around them and generally across the world, and thus more likely to grow, evolve, develop and progress when creating, doing or making things for themselves, as opposed to than having everything served to them or made for them. It is an interesting and relatively novel concept, easy to read and follow, with a writing style and prose that is both easy and enjoyable. The layout is nicely laid out, with a logical structure and format, explaining/defining each new concept and littering with common and sensible examples. The authour goes further and puts this into perspective of the electronic age that we live in and the challenges and rewards herein.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading - but be critical of all the arguments, 3 Jun. 2011
By 
R T "RT of Keighley" (Keighley) - See all my reviews
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It is really summed up on page 17 - everyday creativity tracing its ancestry back to the Art and Crafts movement of Ruskin and William Morris of the nineteenth century through to the explosion of creative writing, music and imagery that is regularly posted onto various websites in the twenty-first. He also briefly looks at the rise of practical DIY in the middle of the twentieth century but the main thrust of his argument is about artistic creativity rather than practical engineering or manufacturing skills. These are not totally ignored but the ideas are developed principally through what might be termed intellectual property rather than the physical artefacts associated with William Morris. He clearly sees modern creativity as nit being a talent (p 245) but a "sharing meaningful things, ideas or wisdom, which form bridges between people and communities."

I think some of his arguments are a trifle simplistic and I could argue with them: however he is trying to make a point about the development of creativity amongst everyday individuals which will bring about happiness.

He lists Layard's seven factors of happiness. I have some issue with these as the first five (Family relationships, financial situation and so on) are all inter-related and depend partly on the environment and genetic nature we start with. I would even argue that the last two personal freedom and personal values are strongly influenced by all the others. I would want a more critical appraisal of such ideas which seem to be accepted without a great deal of comment. This is particularly so as they seem to form a major plank in his ideas about what constitutes happiness.

One interesting aside - he refers to some American study that tells us that happiness is correlated to church attendance (page 125): I would not see that, for example, as necessarily relating to the UK as attitudes to church are quite different, the USA tends to still see it a respectable activity and has b more to say about their view of society.

I think it is an interesting argument and reading the book, even if you disagree with some aspects, will give anyone food for thought on how the web and modern day sharing through such things as Youtube or Facebook can enhance society as a whole.

There is an index and notes referring to sources.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Making the connection, 10 Dec. 2011
This book made the connection for me between my politics and my interest in craft and making things. Gauntlett explains the importance of making beyond our wellbeing by drawing on key critical thinkers and illustrating accessible examples. I particularly like his boldness in outlining possible futures and its ability to go beyond the critique. The usefulness of outlining possibilities that are tangible can not be underestimated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A debatable concept, 1 Aug. 2011
By 
Z. Herbert "solaan" (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book is well-written although in parts it is difficult to read with any enthusiasm. 'Creativity' is a word that has been much abused of late, where every activity from a simple entry on Facebook to a knitted cow is so categorised. How many actual connections are made by showing or telling what one makes is a very debatable point.

I found the author's arguments cogent and well-presented but somehow it all feels a bit Utopian. With Web 0.2 the doors are wide open for almost anyone to post his observations, ideas and practical results, but how much of this is 'connecting' with others is questionable. One might connect with oneself and see a concept more clearly but that does not seem to be what Mr Gaunlett is saying. One might have some impact on the unseen millions but unless there is response, again, is it connecting?

Whilst reading this book I kept wanting to say, 'Yes, but...' which is a recommendation in some ways. Interesting hypothesis but I'm not convinced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever and timely book, 26 Oct. 2011
By 
J. Baldwin "Reader" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I teach design students who are driven to make, but not so driven to connect. When I attempt to get them to consider the role of craft within society as a form of developing social connections, initially I get blank stares. Eventually the connection is made and they begin to explore the wider and deeper world related to their practice.
Understanding the role craft has in connecting people, and the role social networking tools have in developing craft, is essential for the 21st century practitioner: it opens up so many opportunities and reveals so much potential.
This book is a great introduction to the topic, full of interesting ideas and stories. It is highly readable too, which is a bonus. Well researched but not overly academic, it makes its points with strong evidence but an anecdotal style.
Highly recommended if you are a designer/maker, but also if you are involved in social projects and other areas such as healthcare and technology.
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4.0 out of 5 stars making the connections, 23 Jun. 2011
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As someone who makes things I was intrigued to read this book and I did find it fascinating overall. The web offers so many more opportunities and outlets for people to express themselves now than ever before as well as the opportunity to connect with people worldwide.

Thanks to the developments of Web 2.0 anyone can make and share their ideas and creations, be it videos via youtube, or craft products via etsy, online design studios, arts and crafts blogs and forums. There are a lot of people who sell what they make online but for every one who sells online there are hundreds more who simply want to share what they do and receive feedback from others or teach others how to do what they do. It truly is a making and sharing community atmosphere that has been created and being a part of that community is what making is connecting is all about. People are now activity involved in making their own entertainment rather than just sitting back and receiving information via television etc. The author explores the history of creativity, and the social, political, philosophical implications and associations of it. I have to agree with his views about facebook-style sites in relation to Web 2.0 "In means that Web 2.0 tools should be as open and as inviting of creativity as possible; and offer platforms where people can truly make their mark,
express themselves, and shape the environment... it cannot involve simplistic templates where identities are reduced to a tick-box level. Expressive messiness, rather than Facebook-style neatness, is therefore to encouraged - even by those of us who, for whatever psychological reason, prefer things to be tidy." I do not find these sites speak to creativity at all, and in fact seem designed to remove any chance of creativity happening even accidentally. 4/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get it while it's hot., 22 Jun. 2011
I first came across this book at an art gallery in devon. A friend (a digital artist) was giving a talk on a skills-sharing website she has set up to serve a particular community, and this was one of the books she had brought for people to peruse before the talk. Luckily, I spotted it and ordered a copy as soon as I got home. This book is essential reading for digital artists, curators, cultural studies students, crafters, painters, guerilla knitters, potters, people with hobbies and people with internet access.

In this book David Gauntlett argues that we are moving away from a culture of passive entertainment, and towards a more active, creative and socially engaging culture. He focuses in particular on current craft and web-based movements, and parallels between the two. While it seems, perhaps, a little too optimistic at times, it makes a change to read something that reflects upon and actively encourages popular, ground-level creativity of the kind that people are finding for themselves. I think this is an important book; it's well written and engaging and covers a surprisingly wide range of topics (from architecture and web 2.0 to happiness). Above all, it feels extremely resonant right now, (I'm not sure how interesting it will seem by 2015), so read it sooner rather than later!
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Making Is Connecting
Making Is Connecting by David Gauntlett (Hardcover - 1 April 2011)
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