Google Lab’s FastFlip – Hyperlinked Slideshow?

Google Labs launched FastFlip – a good example is the “Centre for Investigative Reporting” site.

So you can flip between pages that are rendered and pre-loaded as graphics (PNGs, avg 40kB, 634px by 884px) without incurring the (X)HTML load-times, and all the underlying elements. See the page you like, and then click on the one you choose to have it actually load. The basis is a pre-render that is then flipped through like a slideshow with hyperlinks. Problem is dynamic and ad-generating links on the source documents that will lose their value – you won’t click twice on a link of interest if you know that, on second thoughts, this may be ads rather than content. In addition to which, you incur 404‘s following pages form the preview. Some work… You can’t click on the link you want to follow — you click and it takes you to the page, and then you have to click again… Isn’t that removing a level of “hype” from the “hyperlink”? 🙂

The idea is good – perhaps the links should be image-mapped and referenced onto the areas and articles on the source to allow real interaction? If this is a “Newspaper Flip”, surely you want to be able to say “oh — that’s interesting”, stop dead in your tracks or do a double-take, and read.

Essentially, it seems like the leverage of the technology used for google-books, just with horizontal flipping on a full-page basis.

Then again, perhaps it’s just the demo mock-up that’s not providing the 100% it could? It’s in the Labs, and (surely) in Beta… 🙂 But you knew that already!