White House begins using Vine, features Obama pedaling bike to nowhere

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Ticket

In its first foray into the social media site Vine, the White House chose Monday to include an interesting image: President Barack Obama endlessly pedaling a bicycle going nowhere.

The president rides a bike-powered water filtration system at the #whsciencefair: vine.co/v/bPZJTgQPjjP

— The White House (@whitehouse) April 22, 2013

As part of its ongoing quest to control messaging, the White House on Monday began using Vine—a site that creates GIF-like videos—to promote the White House Science Fair, which celebrates student science projects. Its maiden Vine was of Bill Nye the Science Guy, and actor and longtime PBS host LeVar Burton promoting the event.

In a second social media kickoff Monday, the White House announced a Twitter account for second lady Jill Biden (@DrBiden), which will be run by White House staff and will feature some tweets from the second lady, who will sign personal messages with "-Jill."

She already wrote the following:

Congrats @jeffcharbonneau, the National Teacher of the Year. Look forward to hosting all the state teachers this afternoon! -Jill #NTOY13— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) April 22, 2013

Monday's moves are the latest actions taken by the White House to control access by communicating directly with the public via Twitter, Flickr and other social media tools.

The White House used social media last week as one way to remain engaged with the public as the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings unfolded behind closed doors.

On Friday, as the public clamored for information about suspects in the case, the president remained out of sight while being briefed by advisers and the White House chose to cancel press secretary Jay Carney's regular daily briefing. In the absence of public statements, the White House released two photos of the president privately meeting with officials via its official Flickr feed.