I’ve had fun this afternoon playing with Pinax, and new social media framework based on Django. I got it up and running very quickly, and with very little configuration (changing template files here and there, styles, etc) I’ve got a brand new website for my research lab that features user profiles, project sites complete with wikis and task assignment, social bookmarking, discussion boards, and a host of other features. I showed it to a couple of my labmates. They were able to log in and get up and running without any prompting for me, so it seems to have a familiar and easy-to-use-and-learn interface. Those that were running their own projects enjoyed the project interface, and the ability to link and follow activities of different team members.
I think James and the rest of the Pinax team have hit the nail right on the head. Out of the box I get about 90% of the functionality I was considering building for our lab. I’d like to create and and in a django-references app, which would store citation information, who’s read what, who’s written what, etc.
I’m looking forward to seeing how much functionality I can add in how much time. This type of thing could really transform scholarly communication:)