Google Fast Flip seemed like just another gimmick, but having given it a test drive I'm already hooked.  Pick a newspaper, say the New York Times.  Or a topic, such as Health.  You're presented with an eye-catching snapshot of the beginning of the first article.  You can see the headline, the first several paragraphs of text, and probably a graphic, pull-quote, or summary.  Oh, and also some ads—but (shhh, don't tell Google) the ads are blessedly easy to ignore.

If you like what you see in the article, you can click on it to read the rest.  Or you can hit your computer's arrow key and move quickly on to the next article.  Did I say quickly?  That's why I'm so excited about this.  No point-and-click, no waiting for a page to load, just one keystroke and you're there.  In a flash.  It takes me about a second per article to determine whether or not I want to know more—usually not, it doesn't take much time to scan a lot.

This is far more satisfying than scanning news headlines in a feed reader.   The headline itself does not usually give enough detail, and I find myself wasting too much time clicking on links that might have been interesting but are not.  With Fast Flip I can take most stories with a single glance, while for many others I find that reading the first several paragraphs tells me what I want to know without having to bother to click through to the whole article. When I want more detail, it's there—but doesn't intrude unless I seek it out.

What will Google think of next?  I hope this catches on in a big way; as yet there is not a great choice of sources.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Edit
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Thank you for this recommendation! Google flip is the best thing to happen to the internet since YouTube!!! I love the's like having a newspaper in front of you. Your eyes can move from full article to full article very quickly, and I really feel that I get a sense of the news. Wonderful!

Posted by Tienne McKenzie on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

My pleasure! And you have repaid me by introducing me to yet another interesting blog which will undoubtedly absorb still more of my time.... ;)

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

Oooo, now I can let google know what news I'm reading as well as all my searches all linked together for easy access. Thanks google!

Posted by Phil on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I recently read a story about newspapers closing down their online articles to everyone except subscribers, but were thinking about a "micro-payment" system involving google to generate more revenue.

Posted by Jon Daley on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:20 am

I expect that there's gonna be tons of online sites doing exactly that when everyone realizes that their websites will never really make money. Very sad, but hard to blame them.

Posted by Phil on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm
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