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Who's Blogging


Retha Hill is the Director of the New Media Innovation Lab and a Professor of Practice at Arizona State Universityís Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Hill joined the Cronkite faculty in the summer of 2007 after nearly eight years at BET.

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Project Blog: Mobile Black History Project

Imagine pointing your mobile phone at a Washington, D.C., landmark and reading about its relevance in African-American history. Layering data over real life is at the center of the emerging field of augmented reality, and this mobile phone application will bring black history to the forefront, starting with historic sites in Washington, D.C. Retha Hill, a recent Knight News Challenge winner and director of the New Media Innovation Lab at Arizona State University, will run the project.

Ready to Get Started

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First, a heart-felt thank you to J-Lab and the judges for giving me a New Media Women Entrepreneurs grant. The grant will allow me to pursue my two passions: media transformation and history. The Black History mobile app will utilize the emerging technology of augmented reality to tell users something they might not know about the history of places all around them.

Like most entrepreneurs, my plans are ambitious. We will start providing content in Washington, D.C., but I hope to quickly launch in several more cities. My plan is to have the app up and running well in advance of Black History Month 2011. Yikes! February 2010 is only six months away, so I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Despite my ambitious plans for the app, I am mindful of a couple of key lessons of entrepreneurship:  Keep it simple and make sure you have an A Team going into any project. So with that in mind I am wrapping up a contract with the development company that will build the app on several mobile platforms.

Thanks to the National Association of Black Journalists Digital Taskforce for your love and support in San Diego. Several people have stepped up to help me with the content so what I put out includes the obvious Black History milestones but some less well-known lore from locals.

Several members of my former crew are also primed and ready to help, too.  So, I‚Äôll be back shortly with more announcements soon!

   • Posted by Retha Hill on 08/12 at 04:04 PM

Next entry: Work is Underway