Legal bloggers can blog on Twitter in 280 characters – and blog effectively.

When Twitter was launched, blog publishers often described Twitter as micro-blogging. In fact, American Lawyer Media (ALM) once asked me to do a program at their Legaltech Show on micro-blogging using Twitter.

Blogging, done at its best, is a conversation. You listen to your audience and the subjects in which you have a interest.

By referencing what is being discussed on your blog you are engaging folks, building your influence and nurturing relationships.

By sharing what you are reading/hearing you become a trusted intelligence agent on your niche subject. An intelligence agent is just a step from being hired as a lawyer.

The same can be done on Twitter – though with obviously less analysis and commentary. And with no permanent record by which greater influence and authority is garnered.

I use a news aggregator – Feedly – and Twitter to “listen” to publications (blogs included), people and subjects.

I then share on Twitter what I read, usually with a money quote and comment. I always attribute the source.

The result is a growing audience of legal professionals, tech entrepreneurs, students, academics, reporters and publishers who follow me on Twitter.

These folks have grown to trust me as a good source and somewhat of an authority in the area of legal blogging, publishing and legal tech. Not a bad place to be as CEO of a company involved in all three.

By referencing in my tweet the people whose copy I share and comment upon, I engage them and get to know them. We often connect on LinkedIn on Facebook, and in many cases, meet. Referencing is done by giving an attribute or hat tip (h/t) by including their personal and organization Twitter handle.

The people I then meet are often reporters, bloggers and leaders of law firms, bar associations, corporations, law schools and associations. These folks are often potential customers, but in all cases they influence my customers and LexBlog community members through their writing and engagement with my customers, community members and other influencers.

Rather than dismiss Twitter as a waste of time or using Twitter in a way that is a waste time, try using Twitter for micro-blogging.

You’ll add value to your life by building relationships and establishing yourself as an intelligence in your niche.