From the most recent Alertbox by Jakob Nielsen – Mobile Sites vs. Apps: The Coming Strategy Shift (February 13, 2012):
A last benefit of a mobile-site strategy is better integration with the full web. It’s much easier for others to link to a site than to integrate with a 3rd-party application. In the long run, the Internet will defeat smaller, closed environments.
(Apps may remain better for tasks that are intensely feature-rich applications, such as photo editing — whereas mobile sites will be better for design problems like e-commerce/m-commerce, corporate websites, news, medical info, social networking, etc. that are rich in content but don’t require intense data manipulation.)
I agree 100%. Also, if you read the top of the article he states:
As of this writing, there’s no contest: ship mobile apps if you can afford it.
In the communities I am a part of (small orgs) it is not affordable to code for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc. If you don’t have a business model that makes money, save it and put it towards a great desktop site, then enhance your mobile site (if your web traffic analytics show a mobile market share). Then, if you are bringing in money and can afford to tackle the mobile apps for each device, do it if it still makes sense. If you don’t have a pay-wall or user login, and you don’t have advanced features and functions, and you don’t get money via the web, a mobile app still doesn’t make sense. Save your money, time, and resources.
The truth is, mobile web sites are cross platform and easier to support on small budgets. Each site and app you put out there you need to be able to back with support when issues and changes arise. How much can you afford to handle and maintain? My mom always said that if you have a big yard and you can’t do the yard work yourself and you can’t afford to have it hired done, get rid of it.