Virginia Firefighters Online News

Now I Get It
I was listening to C-SPAN one evening when one of the presidents of Intel made the statement that soon we could divide all computer users into two groups, those connected and those who are not. Everywhere marketers are making this distinction by using messages like, "we get it". This of course implying, unless you are hip, savvy, or somehow part of an elite group like they are, then you don't "get it". Okay, I'll confess that sometimes I feel like Rip Van Winckle awakened by some cyber-event only to discover that ten years have passed. Even if you have been paying close attention, it is the pace of change that is staggering. The fact that a revolution in communications and commerce is taking place is undeniable. I believe however, the revolution is going to be here faster and change our lives more profoundly than most people believe possible. These are certainly interesting times for entrepreneurs looking to stake out a claim online.

Last April my wife and I took our family to Florida. Plans for the trip were made using a secure connection to various travel agencies over the internet. Not only could we check out places to stay, we were actually able to see the room and photos of attractions in the area. Later in the year, my in-laws decided to take a long awaited trip to Paris. Again we were able to not only find their hotel, but actually see the accommodations.

This is the first holiday season that I have ordered gifts online. I placed orders with Barns and Noble as well as Toys-R-Us. Both businesses confirmed my purchase via e-mail and tracked the progress of my shipment. Packages ordered during the Thanksgiving holidays arrived in about two weeks, not bad. The price online was about what it was in the store. Shipping was free. I only wish that I had looked on the "net" and searched for coupons before I made my purchase. This may have reduced the price further. Just like in real life, it pays to shop. It also pays to look at the stores policy for returning items or policy for refunds. But hey, if you're ordering the latest Pokemon cards, you pretty much know what to expect when you open the box. Another nice thing about a online order, you don't have to worry about finding a parking space, tolls, traffic, rude people, and lines. For a small fee you can have your presents gift wrapped and ,of course, you can have them sent to any address free. So, if you live in Virginia and the Grandkids are in California, in a mouse click the presents are wrapped and on the way. For me the UPS person arrived at my door with a neat package. I tried to convince my wife that opening the box just to rewrap the gifts just didn't make sense, especially considering that all of the UPS boxes are tidy squares. Children love opening boxes and the more securely wrapped the better. Anyone think this will fly?

But seriously, check out the stats on who is using the internet and how, you may be surprised.