My COW is not one of those COWs

Heard a new acronym this morning on a Cre8asite Forums thread on learning systems. COWs stands for ‘Computers On Wheels’. It’s a handy device used in UK schools that carries a stack of lap-top computers from one classroom to another. The whole stack can have their batteries recharged at once. It seemed to be just the ticket.

My COW is something different, although it has had an even more dramatic effect on the way I do things. It stands for ‘Computer On Watch’. It’s changed me from a proactive searcher of news items to a reactive reviewer of news items. My computer is doing what it does best and it’s produced astonishing gains in my productivity. The new breakthrough is caused by the wide availability of RSS newsfeeds. Most important sources of news items now also have a RSS newsfeed. Using a news aggregator that will scan whatever newsfeeds I’ve chosen, my computer warns me when something new has occurred. I use Bloglines but there are lots out there. So while my computer watches, I can concentrate on my work.

I’ve cut out most e-mail advices and ezines. I’ve also stopped visiting most forums. I wait until there’s something new and can then decide from a brief summary whether it’s worth checking out the full news item. I would recommend that everyone gets a COW.