by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

My Bridges takes center stage at DATS ’10

My Bridges, the brainchild of local entrepreneur Cheryl Schirillo, had a strong presence at the Design Art & Technology Symposium 2010 (DATS ’10) at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem from Oct. 9 through Monday.

My Bridges ( is a hyperlocal website for social networking and community building that serves as a dynamic advertising vehicle and information hub for the Piedmont Triad, Schirillo said.

During the three-day symposium, Schirillo collaborated with students from Salem College to document DATS ’10. My Bridges had reporters and videographers on the scene capturing a wide variety of events and the experiences of symposium participants via live blog posts, photographs and video essays. Participants created their own blog posts on My Bridges to share what they learned, whom they met and what they found most interesting at the three-day conference.

Schirillo describes My Bridges as “a dynamic way to connect with new audiences, share your news and events and tell your story using the latest in social media tools.”

My Bridges, which went live in April, currently has 763 members and recently surpassed 100,000 online impressions.

My Bridges is currently working with supporters of the Forsyth County school bond referendum to encourage voters to support the $40 million bond to construct a new central library.

Schirillo said there is a distinct difference between My Bridges and other forms of social media.

“Facebook connects you to your friends from high school and college, but Bridges connects you to the topics and events that are shaping our community, and to people who are involved in dynamic projects, causes and movements, “ she said. — KTB