Note: The title of my book, which is announced to be released by March the 15th, is Making a Maker. I guess it's only fair to make a first attempt at defining the term Maker in this post. I will iterate over it later. Consider it a draft.
Makers are people who make things. If we consider this general definition, makers have been around since the dawn of time, and most individuals are makers. But words evolve. They are meant to, because societies change.
In the context of the Maker Movement, a maker is a member of a culture.
Cultures are exclusive by definition. It doesn't mean that cultures divide people according to gender, race, sexual or ethnic criteria. It means that cultures are based on a set of exclusive values, beliefs, goals, and principles. Those values do not pertain to everyone, but to a specific social group.
A Maker is thus an individual who adheres to the values of the Maker culture.
Does it mean we should follow a Maker Manifesto defining a fixed set of values? I believe it would be self-limiting. This is the reason why it's so hard to define the term Maker. Mark Hatch says it well in his own Maker Manifesto:
In the spirit of making, I strongly suggest that you take this manifesto, make changes to it, and make it your own. That is the point of making.
Mark Hatch - CEO of TechShop and Author of "The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers"
It is thus more relevant to identify the core values of the Maker culture rather than a set of rules to live by.
I will make an attempt at identifying those values in a future post.