Yeah! Europe’s hottest conference has just started! We’re delighted to have Erick Schonfeld as the moderator. He has one impressive track record, since he has been covering startups and technology news for 14 years.

thenextweb 0100 The Next Web 2008 kicked off by Erick SchonfeldIn his opening speech, Erick talked about widgetization of the web. The business model as we used to know it is now replaced with a model where there is no central destination. So we just figured out the business model of the web page, yet we don’t really know how to make money when the webpage blows up. Thus the big question here is: what happens if you blow up the web? Let’s see whether the speakers will address this important web question.

He also showed an artsy video called the ‘Live online project’, it discusses virtual immortality in a very subtle and mysterious way. Maybe it was a bit too early for that. Or as Erick noted, “yeah…, they’re artists”.

Erick ran the main blog of Business 2.0 (50,000 RSS readers), won several prizes, made it to the TJFR Business News Reporter’s list of the “best and brightest financial journalists under the age of 30” twice and graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1993. He’s blogging for TechCrunch for six monhts now and recently wrote an interesting post about how he likes working at the world’s largest tech blog: “We live or die by how fast we can post after a story breaks, if we can’t break it ourselves.”