Picking a pope in the digital age: There's app for that, and plenty of social media conversation

CINCINNATI - The papal conclave began Tuesday, and in the digital age, the process for selecting the next Vicar of Christ joins sporting events, award shows, and political proceedings in the social media conversation.

Can't make it to Vatican City for the big event? Here are some ways you can get a front row seat for the conclave.

Linkedin Job Listing

Are you a strong public speaker? A born leader? A frequent flier? Then you're the perfect candidate for the next pope!

A fake job opening for the next pope surfaced on Linkedin Monday, and candidates who wanted to reap the benefits of serving as the Bishop of Rome were strongly urged to apply. 

The posting was quickly removed from Linkedin, but not before job seekers got to view the ultimate bonus: an eternity in Heaven.

Just a guess, but we're thinking Pope Benedict XVI didn't find out about a papal opening on Linkedin in 2005?

Pick the Pope

College basketball fans across the nation have labored tirelessly to create the perfect winning bracket for this year's March Madness. So why not test your luck and cast your selection for the next pope?

9 On Your Side has a "Pick the Pope" bracket online that allows you to pit cardinal against cardinal. Will Sean O'Malley from the United States topple Italian cardinal Angelo Scola? Think Argentinian Leonardo Sandri could upset the Austrian, Christoph von Schonborn?

Fill out your bracket (all in good fun, of course) and keep your eyes glued to the TV for white smoke to see if you're right.

Pope Alarm

Much as our StormShield weather radio app alerts you when severe weather is on the way, the new PopeAlarm app promises "when the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down."

Don't want to miss a second of the new pope's reign? You can sign up to receive either an email or text alert as soon as a new pope is selected. You don't have to be inside Vatican City to get the inside scoop anymore, which is something ardent papal followers could never say during Pope John Paul II's papacy.

Dos and Don'ts for the New Pope

Pope Benedict XVI made history when he became the first pope to tweet, setting the standard for a tech-savvy papacy.

In the spirit of alerting Benedict's successor to social media etiquette, Mashable.com has released a list of 10 yays and nays for the new pope.

A few of them are obvious (Holy Father, PLEASE avoid Snapchat).  But others? Well, they're pretty great. Who wouldn't want to follow the Vatican's Instagram feed and see exactly what the pope is eating for breakfast?

An insider's view of the Sistine Chapel would be cool; and let's not forget about adding a Low-Fi filter to a shot of the Pope mobile as His Holiness prepares to make his rounds.

Speaking of Twitter

The cardinals may be barred from Tweeting during the conclave, but the rest of the world is pretty busy sharing information, news stories, and observations.

9 On Your Side built a Conclave 2013 list of journalists, bloggers and news media covering the papal conclave.  

Have you found any other social tools to enhance your conclave experience? Let us know about them in the comment section below!


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