I like to follow the amount of calls/e-mails my company receives to gauge business activity in the software and consulting world.   January 2009 was the slowest month since the months after September 11, 2001.  Activity has only slightly picked up in February; many companies I talk with have placed indefinite holds on new Web 2.0 and SOA projects.   Other companies continue to invest in their core technology (the smart thing to do).  There also seem to be two schools on thoughts on compensation.  Some companies are following MisManagement 101 and giving across the boards cuts.  I am seeing smart companies scoop of the best employees of such companies.  A vicious cycle it is.