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Introducing Scald for Social Media in Drupal

t-dub's picture
Submitted by t-dub on Mon, 07/28/2008 - 18:10.

Session recording

Attached files

Session time: 
08/30/2008 - 13:30 - 08/30/2008 - 14:30
Conference booklet summary and bio
Article for conference booklet: 
Multimedia on the web has grown from a gee-whiz feature into a mainstay of almost all web-based content. Video sidebars adorn all major online newspapers, all the contacts in our email have a photo associated with them, and podcast versions of our favorite blogs are available for consumption on the go. However, making use of this media in a meaningful way has continued to be a challenge for the average user. The combination of usability issues and the tricky world of licensing has meant that despite the promise of rich interaction, the world of online media has a long ways to go. Recently, the growth of social networks like Facebook has proven that the future is not in the "bucket" approach, but in the connection-rich world supported by a social network. In fact, Facebook has already surpassed Flickr as the #1 photo-sharing application in the world (based on comScore numbers). Drupal’s existing support for social networking is excellent and media handling has been advancing at a tremendous rate. Drupal has the potential to be an excellent platform for the emerging trend of social media. Scald is a unified approach to social media and provides the missing elements that are necessary to realize its full potential. Good user experience is the key to engagement so Scald offers both and a reference implementation that addresses common user difficulties and a framework to build unique solutions. File-format agnostic uploads, WYSIWYG editing, integrated (and enforced) licensing, contextually-aware display, and a tracking system which actively encourages remix and reuse of content are a few of the elements that we believe make Scald a powerful tool for Drupal developers and end-users alike. Scald is currently in its earliest stages, but we hope that by tapping into the amazing functionality already present, Scald can help take Drupal into the world of social media. Come learn what we’ve done so far, how you can take advantage of it, and where we as a community can go from here!
Bios for conference booklet: 
Tom Wolf (t-dub) is a developer and project manager for the Chicago Technology Cooperative. He has been hacking Drupal for non-profits for almost 18 months now and is hoping to translate his experience as project lead on into some major contributions to the community. David Eads (eads) came to Drupal from the world of activism and social justice. His work at the Chicago Technology Cooperative has shown his superior UX abilities and he has recently been working on the next version of the WYMEditor, a project which allows him to exercise his love for jQuery!


Drupal needs media handling, but more than that, Drupal needs a way to handle ''Social Media''. YouTube or Flikr are excellent examples of gallery-style media sites that have experienced organic community growth (Flikr more than YouTube). Facebook has fairly robust handling of photos and leverages their "social map" to deliver an exciting experience.

Drupal is already an excellent platform for building robust social networking sites and community collaboration spaces. Media handling is rapidly improving. With the current discussion on how to formalize media handling in Drupal and the continued development in the social networking space, Drupal is a natural choice for developing social media projects. All that is missing is a straightforward implementation path. The Scald platform -- first developed for a groundbreaking new project from Chicago Public Radio -- is a first step down that path.


  • What is "Social Media"?
  • How "social" and "media" are currently accomplished in Drupal
  • The argument for a new framework
  • Scald architecture highlights
  • Brief demo (
  • Current Status
  • Future plans & how you can help


Attendees should leave feeling that they have a grasp of how Drupal currently stacks up in the Social Media space. They should understand the basic Scald feature set, its architecture (on a high level), the rationale behind its development and some ways that Scald can be used as an effective tool in developing social media websites.


niccolo's picture

broken Scald link

the correct SCALD project link is