I know from reading the ingame info on goblins that they are too fast for spring traps, but does this mean that they activate spring traps but are too fast to get thrown off the map, or that they do not activate the traps at all?
They activate spring traps, but usually can run past the trap. An example of a goblin being hit is if the spring trap is right next to a collector or storage, and the goblin goes to attack the building.
As a fellow player of C.O.C., I know a lot from experience. Goblins do, however, activate spring traps, although they are not affected by them.