Social media connects world to conclave

first_imgAlthough the College of Cardinals used a smoke signal Wednesday to signal its election of a new pope, the rest of the world relied on social media to stay updated on the conclave. Junior Austin Lagomarsino said he first heard the news on Facebook when a friend posted “Habemus Papam” as his status. “I followed [the conclave] on Facebook, but the best one to follow was Fr. Edward Sorin on Twitter,” Lagomarsino said. The fake Fr. Edward Sorin account tweeted Wednesday at 9:02 a.m. EST, “If the tailgating in Saint Peter’s Square gets out of hand, no more night-popes for a while.” Social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram did not exist when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. But since the conclave began Tuesday, thousands of mobile devices tweeted photos each time the smoke appeared, whether it was black or white. Senior Catherine Flatley said she found out about the new pope through social media and then turned to news media sources like the New York Times. “I didn’t realize so many of my peers followed [the conclave] closely,” she said. “I saw posts on Facebook and Tweets, but I went and actually read about it via the news.” Mobile applications created for the conclave were available within 48 hours of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s resignation, according to a report from CNN. One application, Conclave, by Logos Bible Software, provided free updates, live video from Saint Peter’s Square and historical information about the election process. PopeAlarm.com, developed by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, promised to update users whenever the smoke appeared via SMS and the website’s Twitter handle, @popealarm. FantasyConclave.com, a website based on sports brackets, allowed users to select a cardinal and enter a pool with the chance to win prizes, some valued more than $300. Some of the cardinals joined the Twitter community as they discussed the conclave, including Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahoney, who tweeted at 7:07 p.m. March 11, “Last tweet before moving to Casa Santa Martha, and Mass to Elect a Pope. First Conclave meeting late Tuesday afternoon. Prayers needed.” Crews installed mobile device jammers in the Sistine Chapel and the residences at the Santa Marta hotel to prevent the news from leaking out preemptively, according to a report by NBC. Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told The Telegraph of London, “In this electronic age, I worry some cardinals may go into iPad and Twitter withdrawal.” Any cardinal or Vatican worker who breached the security code would face excommunication, according to The Telegraph. When the newly-elected Pope Francis finally stepped onto the balcony, the Twitter sphere exploded with exclamations of “Habemus Papam” and “Francisco Primo”. Twitter users started using the handle @JMBergoglio, which existed long before the new pontiff’s candidacy for the papacy, to congratulate him, according to a report from NBC. Twitter had to suspend the account when it nearly doubled in followers within a few hours of the announcement. The account was allegedly a fake account, according to Slate Magazine. Pope Francis will inherit not only Saint Peter’s throne but also @Pontifex, the pope’s official Twitter account. The account has 1,819,926 followers and counting, and has produced one tweet at 7:33 CET on March 13. The tweet reads, “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM”.last_img read more

Consumers want mobile bill pay options, yet billers slow to enable them

first_imgby: Brian DayMobile bill-pay platforms and usage saw significant growth in 2014, yet some billers still face challenges to implementing a mobile strategy.A recent report, “A Comprehensive View of Mobile Billing and Payment: Consumer Behavior and Preferences and Billers’ Strategies and Deployments,” found 20 percent of consumer clicks on billers’ websites originated from a mobile device. This represents a 55-percent increase from the previous year. Bill payment was the most often completed consumer action once a consumer reached a biller’s website.Additionally, data shows the ability to pay bills via a mobile device is linked to an increase in customer satisfaction and paperless electronic billing adoption. In fact, billers who have implemented a mobile bill pay and presentment (MBPP) strategy had a 44-percent higher electronic billing adoption rate than those not offering mobile bill pay technology. Further, billers offering alerts and notifications experienced a 47-percent increase in electronic billing usage, compared to billers not offering the same.Despite the growing use of the mobile channel and the advantages tied to offering mobile bill pay, just 16 percent of billers have employed a MBPP strategy. Much of this is due to the implementation barriers billers face. The survey found the top three most frequently cited hurdles include: continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Acrid smoke hangs over Kiev after Chernobyl fire

first_imgOn Friday, Ukraine’s interior minister Arsen Avakov and head of emergency service Mykola Chechotkin reassured President Volodymyr Zelensky that the smog does not pose a chemical or radiation threat.Kiev authorities made similar assurances to residents in the capital.”In Kiev, smoke and air pollution are being observed as a result of fires… but there is no radiation,” Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a video address.Officials nevertheless urged locals not to go out without urgent need and to keep their windows shut.The Kiev air pollution hit a city already under lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, with 4,662 confirmed cases in Ukraine and 125 deaths.In Kiev, people are allowed to walk outside but only wearing masks and not in groups of more than two. On Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities said the blaze had been largely extinguished thanks to heavy rain.But on Friday a thousand firefighters aided by two planes and three helicopters were still battling a number of small blazes in the wooded area some 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Kiev, the emergency service said.The sky became clearer in the evening as Kiev dropped from the top of the list to seventh place in the ranking compiled by IQAir Group.The smog has been blown in by strong winds from dozens of forest fires in surrounding regions, including from the nuclear exclusion zone around the Chernobyl power plant. Thick smoke hung over Ukraine’s capital Kiev on Friday as forest fires smouldered on in the Chernobyl nuclear zone, but city officials said no radiation spike had been detected.The acrid haze hindered visibility all over the city of three million people and the smell of smoke permeated homes as Kiev jumped to the top of high air pollution rankings.A forest fire broke out almost two weeks ago close to the Chernobyl reactor that exploded in 1986 in the world’s worst nuclear accident.center_img Topics :last_img read more