What a difference eight years make! In 2005 social networks had barely begun, and we followed news of the Conclave which elected Benedict XVI pretty much in the same way we had followed the last few conclaves - on TV and radio. This time, though, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I've been able to adopt a cardinal, view a dozen or more interactive guides, read even more online articles and post the odd cartoon or picture on my Facebook wall.

And all that was before the Conclave even started! Since then, we've had live streaming of the opening and online updates wherever I choose to look. I've also seen so many comments from friends - and even been able to post a few tweets of my own - about "chimney watching" or "chimney stalking". There's a sense of a million or so eyes and hearts focussed on one single chimney, one single place, watching and waiting.

And in the end that's all it comes down to: waiting in prayerful hope for the outcome of an election which will have a direct impact on millions of people throughout the world. And that's all I or any of us can do - watch and pray.