Friday, January 8, 2010

Google Fast Flip--a powerful new news tool.

I've been interested in news all my life.  In college I worked for a radio station that became an NPR affiliate, and during the summer of my junior year I was a summer intern with the Voice of America in Washington, D.C.  Not surprising, then, that I would choose television coverage of international affairs as my dissertation topic in grad school at Stanford and that the dissertation would form the basis for my first book, Television's Window on the World.
Enough about my background and my books.  You can read any of them or download PDF versions via Google Books or my personal web site.  The point of this post is to recommend that you try Google's new Beta service called Fast Flip.  I especially commend to you fast flip for mobile, preferably on an iPhone or an Android with a good capacitive touch screen interface.
When I first tried out Fast Flip on my iPhone 3Gs, I mistakenly thought it was based on the 4,000 plus news sources represented in Google News.  To the contrary, it is an experiment based on an agreement between Google and the news outlets you'll be able to access via the Fast Flip service.  Nevertheless, it offers a glimpse into the future of scanning for news over the internet.  It makes news sites 1) fast to load, 2) easy to scroll or flip through, and 3) they look like the print versions.  A librarian blogger has a good description of some of the Fast Flip features and potential.
The mobile version of Google Fast Flip is a blast and I predict it will be a surefire success, at least in English.  I'm not sure whether there is a Korean version yet, but there should be!

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