According to CNN, at 2:20pm ET, more than 270 retailing Web sites tracked by Internet monitoring firm Akamai were drawing more than 4.3 million visitors per minute in North America.

Akamai said that its Net Usage Index — which monitors North American visitors to sites such as American Eagle Outfitters,, and — said traffic was up nearly 39% compared to the same time last year. They’re expecting the numbers to go up even more throughout the rest of the day.

My inbox has been filling with various offers – from free shipping, to a collection of Bing offers from various retailers, to local shops offering up to 50% off of online shoe orders (very enticing indeed). I’m encouraged that the recession slowly seems to be falling behind us, as last year’s sobering statistics took a bit of the joy out of the seasons.

I myself have not yet jumped into the Cyber Monday fray, but I guess that’s primarily because I’ve already finished much of my holiday shopping, thanks to sites like Blurb, Zappos and Amazon.  But as the sun goes down and I finally get caught up with all my emails, I might just have to venture into the wild and check out a few of those offers…  Especially those 50% off shoes…