2011′s breakout terms in Mobile Media predict the year to come in phones, tablets

This Mobile Media blog turned a year old on Jan. 21, 2010. It started with a write-up of a blog post by Chip Oglesby: “Newspapers need to connect their content to smart devices, location awareness.” More than 1,000 other updates followed.

Typically, such an anniversary could call for a list of the most popular stories from the last year, as well as a cogent analysis of the state of the industry. But I did those just before the new year:

So instead, let’s look back and forward, with the help of a Wordle tag cloud of the headlines of the last year:

(Click to enlarge)

In case you couldn’t guess, we cover mobile a lot here. The word dominated our headlines (274 times), making them both descriptive and SEO-friendly.

The iPad (273 times), Apple and apps all saw their fair share of coverage as well. One word that seems a bit overrepresented to me is may at 41 times. But as Poynter.org’s Managing Editor Steve Myers pointed out, that reflects the uncertain state of mobile in many newsrooms.

On the other hand, a few terms seem under-represented. Revenue is in there, though small, and Android (32 times) ranks about evenly with Foursquare and Google. Despite the recent burst of iPhone-related news, Verizon appeared in headlines only 12 times, although AT&T didn’t appear at all.

So which terms are likely to trend in our 2011 headlines? Many of the same, of course, as Apple releases a new iPhone and iPad and Google’s Android continues to compete in the smart phone and tablet markets.

So, here are my 10 predictions for 2011′s breakout terms — the devices, companies and issues that didn’t top the list in 2010 but are increasingly important for mobile-related journalism:

  • The Daily
  • Next Issue Media
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Subscription
  • Revenue
  • Video
  • Amazon
  • Location
  • 4G
  • Mobile payments

Of course, a year ago the iPad didn’t even have a name yet, so the list is sure to change.

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