April 25, 2008

Wishlist for a cool website for scientists

A very interesting conversation going on in the Nature Network SciBarCamp forum. Corie Lok asked the question:

[W]at kind of website do you wish there was that would help you with your work? What sorts of tools and features would it have? What parts of your work/job would be greatly helped by a well designed website?

So far there have been quite a few interesting comments and suggestions. A consensus is forming that the ideal would be a platform where scientists could pick and choose a bunch of interoperable services and mash up all the resulting data and results. Oddly, a vision of grafting those types of services on the Nature Network platform would be sort of like the way FaceBook applications are grafted on Fb. (Obviously, with a vastly higher "useful to junk ratio" that those damn Facebook apps. And without the constant crashing too.)

To recap my own comment on the thread, it would be interesting to see Nature integrate their own peripheral services into NN more tightly -- such as Connotea, Precedings, PostGenomic/Scintilla and Second Life. Added to that, some other services I'd like to see added/made interoperable would be citation-oriented (ie. Zotero or CiteULike) and document preparation (ie. Zoho or Google Docs) and data analysis (ie. Mathematica web services). Some other services would be data repositories, multimedia authoring and wiki lab notebooks tools.

Check it out. If you're not already a member of NN, join up and put in your own 2 cents worth.

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