After Facebook came Twitter. I recently joined Twitter.

Twitter is a way of micro-blogging what you are doing right now to your fans, friends, family and colleagues. If you’re in the US, you can receive Twitter updates via SMS to your mobile phone so you are constantly in touch with those who are important to you. If you’re not in the US, you can still send updates via your mobile phone and follow others online.

I was trying to explain Twitter to David, and it’s difficult to put into words how micro-blogging is important without sounding like an egomaniac. (Who really cares what I’m doing right now?) However, signing up to post Twitter updates (the verb, I believe, is “tweet”) and to receive other people’s tweets, doesn’t have to contain earth-shattering value.

Think of it as a mini-Facebook for mobile phones. The pleasure in Twitter is that you can stay connected — with just short messages of 140 characters — with those who matter. If you use Twitter to your advantage, you’ll stay informed, entertained (your friends are those you make you laugh, right?), and connected in a busy world.

Apart from the mundane movements and witticisms of your friends, if you are following people who have the same interests as you, you can hear about hot specials (“Target Springwood has a table of marked down Lego for $9.95”), keep in touch with your family members (“I picked up milk and eggs, was there anything else?”), regroup with colleagues (“We’re heading downstairs for drinks now.”), even teachers could use it to keep parents informed (“New assignment is a book report due on Friday.”)

Do you want to know what Hillary Clinton is doing? How about Kevin Rudd? Look for your local politicians (if you follow politics), musicians, comedians, society notables, etc. Stay informed and plugged-in while out and about.

You can program your Facebook status to update via Twitter, and you can program your blog to update via Twitter, too. So contacts can stay connected online and via their mobile phones. It’s all circular, but once you get started, you’ll see how much fun it is.

You can see my last five tweets on the right, and to follow a longer history, visit my Twitter page. Twitter also updates when I add a new entry to this blog.

To get started, join Twitter, then convince the people who are important to you to sign up too and start following their updates.