LOS ANGELES — Michelle Obama’s got three boards and 15 pins and if you don’t know what that means, you clearly aren’t following one of the latest trends exploding online: Pinterest.

Wednesday morning, the first lady popped up as a participant on the fast-growing social media site, which allows users to post, or “pin,” images they like to various themed “boards” they create. Pinterest users who follow them may post comments under the pins, or “repin” photos they like to their own Pinterest pages. Naturally, there is optional Twitter and Facebook linkage.

So far, Obama’s boards are “Around the White House,” “Great Memories” and “Father’s Day.”

The first lady, it appears, is collaborating with the president’s re-election team. “This account is run by the Obama 2012 campaign staff,” her page says. “Pins from the First Lady are signed –mo.” Hours after launching her page, Obama had 4,957 followers.

Pinterest was launched in 2009 in the very state that has spawned many a presidential campaign: Iowa. (Founder Ben Silbermann was in West Des Moines, to be precise). In January, ComScore reported Pinterest had 11.7 million users, making it one of the fastest-growing social network sites ever.

One might have expected the social-media savvy White House to beat the opposition to a website like this, but Ann Romney has been on Pinterest for three months. The wife of President Obama’s presumptive challenger Mitt Romney uses Pinterest to share recipes, favorite books and moments with her family.

Romney has eight boards with 66 pins and 7,519 followers. Her boards include “Patriotic,” “Things I love” and “Inspiration.” She offers a recipe for “healthy” peanut butter chocolate eggs, and recommends as a favorite book Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” whose love-tormented heroine comes to a self-induced and untimely end.

For many users, most of whom are women, Pinterest functions as a kind of aspirational wish-book for fashion looks, home design and food.

For the Obamas and Romneys, it has become another form of outreach on the virtual campaign trail.

With its focus on photographs, Pinterest helps them impart a homey, folksy vibe at a moment when the campaigns have been engaging in a war of words about which candidate is less sympathetic to the problems of everyday Americans.

Streep, Davis bare mutual admiration

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – They may have been Oscar rivals earlier this year, but there’s nothing but love between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis.

Streep, who ended Davis’ awards run for “The Help” by winning the lead actress Oscar for “The Iron Lady,” lauded her friend and colleague Tuesday at Women in Film’s annual Crystal + Lucy Awards.

She called Davis “a lion-hearted woman” and a gifted and determined actress who studied at Juilliard, won Tony Awards and captivated Hollywood with her eight-minute performance in “Doubt.”

“She was a newcomer at 45,” Streep joked.

Davis returned the love as she accepted the award.

“I have a confession,” she said, sharing how touched she was when Streep sent her a card after the film wrapped. “OK Meryl, I framed the card,” Davis said. “So you can never come over to the house.”

No jokes as Cruise ascends Friars Club pedestal

NEW YORK – The Friars Club, best known for searing celebrity roasts, held the insults when it toasted Tom Cruise.

The actor received the fourth ever Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award on Tuesday night, placing him in the same company as Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.

Fresh off a whirlwind week of premieres for “Rock of Ages,” the actor, who turns 50 next month, said he’s amazed his career is still going so strong.

Alec Baldwin presided at the Waldorf-Astoria, where speakers included such former co-stars as Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Pollak. Robin Thicke and Corinne Rae Bailey were among the musical performers.