On 3-4 April I was at the Next Web 2008 conference in Amsterdam. This is a long overdue (owing to my blog being down) but brief write-up of my overall impressions.

The conference was satisfyingly wacky. It’s all about new web startups presenting their stuff and conversations on what’s coming up on the web, upcoming trends, the new Google or Facebook etc. It’s a good place to find out about cool new startups, but also to observe the areas that attract the most innovation.

In the following days I’ll write up my comments on the most interesting of the startups, but here are some of the other highlights:

  • Robert Scoble talking about some interesting differences between software experiences of yesterday and today. Signing up on Twitter or Facebook and having no friends makes for a much different experience than having thousand (as he does). In the old days, a software installed on your computer always offered the same experience.
  • Chris Saad speaking on Data Portability - very relevant in a room full of new web startups and very interesting.
  • Nova Spivack talking about the semantic web - computers actually understanding the web. Probably slightly dumbed down for our benefit, but very informative session.
  • Adeo Ressi speaking on how to get funded by VCs. A good guide on how to “get funded for your dream”.
  • A brilliant episode by Tegenlicht called ‘The Truth According to Wikipedia‘. It explored the nature and status of Wikipedia as the source of all truth on the internet in contrast with the fact that it’s maintained by a community of users rather than experts as a printed encyclopedia is. I won’t side with one side or the other here, but it was a very thought provoking video.

Overall I would say that it was a very worthwhile two days, held in a lovely city. I’m glad I was there.