Its been a while and after chatting with gabriele and roberto at the eZ conference i've started to look at this again.
Google have kicked off 'Shindig', an apache incubator project as a 'real-world' example of open social, containers and gadgets.
The site Chabotc seems to be host for this project. Their blog at http://www.chabotc.com is worth reading, with more shindig information at http://www.chabotc.com/shindig.
' Partuza' is their social website, at http://partuza.us.chabotc.com where the container is in operation, and from my limited testing appears to be working. More here: http://code.google.com/p/partuza
Although shindig is in incubation the project contains both java and php implementations. The php version requires the use the zend framework, which will be 'interesting' to work with if it is necessary...