Batman: The Dark Knight was The Jokers movie, and Batman was just a side show. The late Heath Ledger portrayed The Joker as a psychotic character who was as unapologetic as he was evil, and yet had a dark and appealing sense of humour.

The Joker went live on Twitter around 15 hours ago, and has been updating regularly and interacting with other Twitterers (or, as he calls us – Twits). Sample this:

Hey I’ve got a joke for you twits: What do you call a half naked dead guy nailed to the wall?

(I responded with “You”)

The answer was ART. If any of you twits try to steal a punchline again you can be sure you’ll have a front row seat to my artistic side.

I like the fact that he stays menacing, and true to character.

The Context

This is just a fan who’s taken on the role of the Joker online? Perhaps not – according THR, Warner Bros (WB) plans to re-release The Dark Knight in January, before the Oscars, in order to boost Ledgers chances of becoming only the second actor ever to receive a posthumous Academy Award. Four months is a long time, enough for people to switch to the next-big-thing in entertainment.

While I’m not sure if WB or DC Comics are managing The Joker character on Twitter, this could be an initiative to help keep the franchise alive and kicking. This use of both the publishing and the conversational element in Twitter helps maintain (and maybe even build) a fan base before the re-release. Since The Joker added began following me (he’s following users 2000 in all), his comments are the first that look for when I check Twitter for updates from those whom I’m following. I’m on twitter as nixxin.

Update: Other Batman characters are also now interacting with users and each other on Twitter: Harvey Two-Face, The Scarecrow, Commissioner Gordon and Rachel Dawes. Batman hasn’t updated in 4 months.

NIITs Community Initiative
An Indian community initiative that was recently covered is the one around “Preeti Technani” character created for NIIT, managed online by Interactive Avenues. Take a look at Preeti Technani’s Blog. They’ve got some things right, but I don’t like a few things that they’ve done: Some of the posts (like this, this and this) plug NIIT, and could put some readers off. Their largest “Tag” is GNIIT. At the same time, I like other posts which focus on discussions and issues (like this, this and this), and I think these work much better as content.

I would suggest that they stop the plugs completely, and focus on creating an environment for their target audience to discuss, ask questions, and think about things. At the same time, the brand can gain with its association with the property. One of the dangers with becoming part of the conversation is that you dont know what will be perceived as a plug, and what, as content. You don’t want to put off readers who can spot a plug.

Do you think The Joker will “tweet”, telling his followers to watch a Batman movie trailer, or a new DC Comics comic?