I have been working on the MySite module for a year now, and there are a growing number of modules that are solving a similar problem: How do I pull content from Drupal and present it in a different context than it was originally intended?
* Custom PHP Blocks
* Google Gadget creator [by FGM]
I have specifically been trying MySite/Panels/Views integration, and it seems the best path is to unify the underlying logic systems for defining, selecting, and generating content.
I am advocating for a session (or two) as a working group to examine the potential for a Content API which would allow for the following:
* Preset definitions for content collections (e.g. Get the X most recent nodes from term Y).
* Configuration options for modifying presets.
* An API for adding content to a collection.
* An API for searching available content.
* An API for rendering content in different contexts (AJAX, JSON, HTML, XML)
If we had a unified API, we could also work on some universal AJAX tools to make searching and administering the content easier.
See a mockup of how the API might work.