Goooood morning. Another jet-lag induced early morning for me, which is nice. In another life I'd like to be a morning person. It's still dark out, so hey - it's just like staying up late, just in reverse. I couldn't keep my eyes open past 10:30 p.m. last night.
Now that I'm starting to settle in a bit here, my mind is starting to pick up on things. The first is that here in the U.S. the dot-com boom is alive and well. Let me put this into perspective. When I left here in 2000, the boom was at its height and every 4 minutes on television or the radio you heard E*trade, Pets or other dot-com ads. When I arrived in Spain, the boom was really just taking hold. There were ads for different portals around Madrid and some on TV, etc. But for the most part it never got nearly as intense. Then the bubble burst and within a year the only advertisements you see now are for internet access by Telefonica or Wanadoo.
Here, however, I've been watching TV and listening to the radio as I drive into town and it's amazing how many dot-com sites are still alive and well. It started right when I got off the plane, I started seeing ads in the airport for Salesforce.com vs. UpShot. Then on the radio I've heard a bunch of different dot-com services and even on TV there's still quite a few. I wish I could remember all the ads to link to them, but you get the idea. It's actually quite surprising to me. I thought all the dot coms had packed up and gone home.
It may not be as intense as it was in the late 90s, but the internet has definitely changed the way that people live here, and you can see it everywhere. In Madrid taking out my laptop in Starbucks got me some weird looks. Yesterday at lunch I had to wait for a minute to be able to sit down because of all the people drinking coffee and using the HotSpot. It's pretty cool. Nice to be back home.