Office of Media Affairs
Contact: Rick Borchelt, 202/456-6020
WASHINGTON -- The White House this month celebrates the first anniversary of its award-winning service, Welcome to the White House: An Interactive Citizens' Handbook, launched Oct. 21, 1994. The service will soon surpass 4 million requests for its principal page and 50 million total pages and images delivered to users.
Over the past year, almost 150,000 people have signed the President's electronic guestbook. The average number of daily users has more than tripled in a year.
In launching the service last year, Vice President Gore said that, "This service is an example of how we can provide government services and information to the public in a more timely manner, more efficiently and more cost effectively. It shows our continued commitment to being a leader in developing the National Information Infrastructure."
"Our experience with this in the past year has been nothing short of astounding," said John H. Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. "Although less than 10 percent of the U.S. population has access to the Internet today, almost as many people have visited the White House site on the Internet as toured the White House building and grounds last year."
The White House service is a part of the World Wide Web, the component of the global Internet that supports multimedia applications. It guides Internet users looking for information and services from the U.S. government, provides information on White House announcements and public events, and makes available online tours of the White House complex.
The White House Web site has been named one of the "Best of the Web" by the Whole Internet Catalogue, was a finalist in the "Best of the NII Awards," and was named one of PC Magazine's Top 100 Internet services. It is the only site not related to computers on the Webcrawler Top Ten, a service that calculates popularity based on the number of links on the Internet from one service to another.
A new version of Welcome to the White House is under development and will be released later this year. It will make it easier to find information and services from government agencies, make it easier to find White House information, expand the sections on White House history, and include greater usage of audio and photographic images.
The Internet address for Welcome to the White House is http://www.whitehouse.gov.
The White House also operates two other Internet-based services. Its publications service allows users to subscribe to White House press releases and other documents, which are received by approximately 250,000 people every day. The other service is Presidential electronic mail. Over 700,000 people have sent the President, Vice President and First Lady electronic mail since that service was begun in June 1993. These services also are accessible on the White House Web site.