Prepping for 'Papal Fever' online

MANILA, Philippines - The upcoming election of a new pope is causing waves online, with a number of faithful looking for ways to get up-to-date information on papal goings-on.

If you happen to be interested in setting up your own personal news center for the conclave, here are some tips to keep tabs on the papal conclave online.

Learning the timing

While the Vatican did release a timetable for the conclave activities, Filipinos will want to take note of at least two important time periods for the duration of the conclave.

In the Philippines, eager pope-watchers will want to remember the hours of 4 to 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m across the papal election period days. These are the general times when Filipinos can expect to see black or white smoke during the conclave sessions.

If you find out white smoke has gone up, it should be another hour or so before the new pope is announced.

POPE ALARM. Learn when the white smoke hits the chimney with Pope Alarm. Screen shot from PopeAlarm.

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Staying updated

As this is the first conclave done in the era of Twitter and increased social media visibility, there are a number of ways to stay informed of goings-on in the Vatican.

For one thing, news lovers can keep checking the Rappler Twitter account for any breaking news on the conclave. Those of you who feel a little more invested about the results may also want to look for a papal watching service, such as the Pope Alarm email and text service, for when the white smoke hits the Vatican chimney.

If you're interested in watching the smoke fly from the conclave chimney, you also have options. The EWTN Global Catholic Network and the Vatican video player should have streaming video covering the conclave thoroughly.

ADOPT A CARDINAL. The Adopt-a-Cardinal website lets you say prayers for the good fortune of a random cardinal in the conclave. Screen shot from Adopt a Cardinal.

Shortening the wait

If you're expecting a long wait for white smoke during the conclave, there are also some sites offering some form of distraction for the eager conclave watcher.

As Rappler reported on earlier, the Adopt-a-Cardinal website is available for people to pray for a random cardinal to win the papacy.

A site called Fantasy Conclave also exists, which appears to let people sign up to try to win a pot of money for being the only person to correctly choose who will be the pope and when he will be announced.

Finally, those of you who simply want to explore the Sistine Chapel without leaving their desk can take a virtual Sistine tour online, spending hours zooming in and out at the artwork on the walls, floor, and ceiling.

Regardless of whatever you choose to do between now and the announcement of the new pope, you can expect it to be an interesting time for the Catholic Church as it seeks a new shepherd for its flock. - Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.

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