It was a dark and stormy night...

As I write this all of the anchors and pundits on FOX, MSNBC and CNN are in an atypical Friday night tizzy. The Senate is said to have reached a tentative bi-partisan agreement to pass a $780 billion stimulus bill.

Earlier today, The Labor Department announced the national unemployement rate has hit 7.6%. We lost 598,000 jobs in January alone. That figure is worse than expected and is the single worst month in job losses for the United States in 34 years.

So what are all these newly laid off people going to do with their time, along with the millions of others already sitting idle?

Can you say Internet?

- Where's the best place to cast the widest net searching for another job?
Answer: The Internet

- Where's the best place to professionally network without laying out any cash on conference fees, travel, gas money for travel or even dry cleaning for business atire?
Answer: The Internet

- When all job leads and networking opportunities are exhausted for the moment and it's two o' clock in the afternoon, what can you do until dinner time that doesn't cost a dime.
Answer: YouTube and Facebook (Lessee - 25 More Random Things About Me)

- Where can you make a few fast bucks selling off old ski equipment and your Invicta watch collection?
Answer: Craigs List and eBay

- What is the cheapest, fastest way to start a business with minimal fuss and access to a very, very large customer base?
Answer: The Internet

- Where's the best place to research your next move?
Answer: The Internet

- When you realize you absolutely have to get out of your pajamas or go on Prozac, where are you going to relocate your home office?
Answer: The nearest Panera's WiFi hotspot (free, as opposed to Starbucks).

- When you have nothing better to do than go for that professional certificate or graduate school degree, where are you going to do it with minimal hassle?
Answer: Distance learning

- Could this change the web?
Answer: Think about it; some of our most talented professionals with lots of time on their hands
spending a huge chunk of that time dinking on the Internet.

To my last point, remember; Google had only eight employees in 1999. By 2001, as the tech bubble was bursting, Google took off like a rocket. It was the year they hired Eric Schmidt as CEO, opened their Tokyo office and hit three billion pages in their search index.

Don't reach for the prozac just yet. The economy is down, but far from dead. And an unemployed worker may be unemployed, but that doesn't mean he or she isn't working - and more motivated than ever to innovate.

Hide and watch, as we say in Texas. Hide and watch.