Welcome to INMA's new Mobile and Tablets for Newsmedia Blog!

Over the coming weeks and months, INMA will bring to you the latest news, trends, and opinion on what's happening in the mobile world — and how this relates to news publishers. My good friend and INMA colleague, Paulo Mira, will co-author this blog, bringing our perspectives from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with me in London and Paulo in Miami.

As publishers seek new ways to unlock digital content interaction and monetisation, we'll bring you the latest thinking on mobile and tablets — a fast-changing landscape that seems to have new nuances and logic each week. It's all a minefield, and we'll hopefully bring the issues to the table, clearly and succinctly, so you are able to find the best solutions for your business.

What are the platforms we should be looking at? What are the industry experts saying? What interaction techniques are there out there? What newsmedia companies are embracing mobile and tablet devices? What should we be concentrating on in 2011?

Let's start this blog with a quick summation of where we are today as a newsmedia industry in the world of mobile.

Five years ago, the mobile landscape was a world apart from where we are today. While smartphones existed, the devices were really more like PDAs with a phone built-in rather than mobile computing devices as we know them today. There were mobile phone apps, but the app store concept as we know it now was still years away. And while many mobile phones had the ability to access the Web, the experience was far different in speed and in scope than it is today.

In those five years, we've transitioned from keypad to touchscreen, from 2G to 3G broadband, from “social” as an afterthought to social as an intrinsic part of the mobile Web. And to a world full of apps. Whilst it's almost impossible to predict the next five years, we can imagine that mobile devices will continue to get faster, more complex and slowly but surely replace workstations and notebooks in a range or portable/wireless devices.

Audiences have never engaged with newsmedia companies in a major way in the mobile arena. As an industry, we need to have a range of services and products to bring those audiences to the game: some basic, some more rich, but ultimately a “mix strategy” incorporating interaction tools, database builders, content distributors, and revenue generators.

We'll talk more of these specific areas as this blog develops over the coming weeks.