One of my friends wanted to know how I did it. He’s looking to block Buzzfeed and HuffPo (good decisions all around). Rather than describe it I took a few screen grabs. I am not enchanted with the Dalai Lama, I get it, he says nice things but when you unwind them they’re the words of a man who was chosen as a toddler to live a life that Maslow couldn’t begin to comprehend. I digress. Here’s how you get annoying sites or fan pages off your Facebook timeline.
1) Figure out what bugs you and then click on the little arrow on the top right, it’s hidden between the “sort: most recent” tab and the “like page” box. For me it’s a kindly old man in red robes.
2) On the pull down menu click “I don’t want to see this”.
3) After you’ve clicked “I don’t want to see this” you’ll get to this screen. This is important, do not click that you don’t want updates from your friend (unless you don’t – I want updates from Kristine) click “Hide all posts from Dalai Lama”. You can click one o the four radio buttons underneath but I’ve never found them to apply. If facebook added an “I’m cranky” option I’d probably click that.
At this point you have removed the site or fan page from your stream.
The mom blogosphere is up in arms this week. There are cries of bullying. Everyone who has ever met me knows that bullying is my least favorite word. If you claim “bully” you’d best be prepared to demonstrate that there’s been an unrelenting malicious campaign against you by someone with more power than yourself.
There is clearly a conflict between TheHonestToddler.com and The Honest Company but if anyone tells you that someone’s been bullied you’re reading an opinion piece and nothing about it will make you smarter, well informed or more capable of running a business.
A local mom approached me and asked me what I knew about The Honest Company v. The Honest Toddler and I sort of shrugged and told her I knew nothing. The she was like it’s Internet Drama and was like Oh my god tell me about it because pageviews!! Errr ummm… I mean because I’d like to see what the real story is.
Like every story ever told there are at least two sides to this one and a third side, that’s the one that’s not emotional and no one will ever see.
I sent an email over to Bunmi Laditan and I asked her to please give me the facts without any emotion and as close to a timeline as possible.
This is what she said:
Last spring I began the twitter account @HonestToddler. I took off quickly. The Honest Company emailed me excitedly asking for a conference call so that they could write a story on about the Twitter feed. It’s still on their website:
Shortly after that, I got a book deal with Simon & Schuster in the US, Harper Collins Canada, and Orion in the UK.
I began to trademark “honest toddler” in the winter of 2012. It was all going well and passed all of the initial stages of trademarking.
Earlier this year The Honest Company emailed me asking to speak to me about my trademark application. I spoke to a man named Sean who after pleasantries were done, told me that The Honest Company wanted me to cancel my tradmark application and they would them license it back to me with limited use. I expressed my discomfort with this. Why did theythink they had this right? He said if I did not do this, we would enter into a “mini litigation that could get costly for me.” I stopped taking their phone calls and shared what happened on Facebook. The backlash against them was intense.
Immediately I received a phone call from Christopher Gavigan, the company’s CEO who ensured me that it was all a misunderstanding. I was led to believe that Sean was speaking out of turn and in good faith, removed the posted and we hosted a giveaway for diapers on my Facebook page.
About a month after, they opposed my trademark. I then hired a lawyer. In the legal documents they claim that my trademark is bringing confusion to the mark place.
Darren Star, the producer of Sex and the City optioned the rights to Honest Toddler.
I was notified from my lawyer that The Honest Company sent Darren Star a letter saying I was infringing on their trademarks and that they should contact them directly. The statements contained in their letter were pure fiction. I have done nothing to violate the law in any manner whatsoever.
This is where we are now.
Well, to be fair this is where they’re at right now. The Honest Toddler has this to say to The Honest Company.
Note: allegedly the child is saying “ridiculous”…. ummmm okay Mrs. Pottymouth over here heard something else. Calling Dr. Freud….
If you go to the Honest Toddler’s facebook page you’ll see a steady scathing stream of documentation of the legal wranglings between the Honest Company and The Honest Toddler. I decided to put in a call to The Honest Company and this afternoon Christopher Gavigan called me.
The call went exactly like this bloggers never make things up and there’s no possible way this didn’t happen:
CHRISTOPHER GAVIGAN: Hi Jessica, it’s Christopher Gavigan from the Honest Company.
ME: Hey, how are you.
ME: So I called because I want to know what’s happening between you and The Honest Toddler
CG: Oh, nothing at all, we were just trying to crush her. We basically hate women. And kids too.
ME: Awesome that’s exactly what I thought. Let me hurry up and publish this.
Or not. My conversation with Christopher Gavigan (who is the CEO of The Honest Company, past CEO of Healthy Child, author of Healthy Child Healthy World and by all accounts a bit of an altruist) was enlightening.
Christopher explained to me in clear terms that The Honest Company was acting in an uncomplicated manner and working only to protect their brand. The co founders of The Honest Company have spent years creating their products, business and brand. In March of 2012 The Honest Company registered the website HonestToddler.com. The site sat dormant until recently.
Christopher did not tell me this though I assume that owning HonestToddler.com was an attempt to protect the brand.
In July of 2012 Bunmi Laditan hit twitter with @HonestToddler and the internet laughed it’s ass off. She brings the funny.
According to Gavigan The Honest Company loves The Honest Toddler’s blog. They want to see her continue to write, have TV shows, books and blogs. In fact they’re such fans that they tried to create a coexistence agreement with Laditan.
Coexistence agreements pretty common when two entities overlap with trademarks. In this instance the coexistence agreement would allow TheHonestToddler.com to continue blogging, writing and making TV but protect The Honest Company’s trademark as it relates to shampoos, strollers and the like. Had The Honest Company not asked for this (at a minimum) they’d put themselves out of business. This is not just standard practice, this is generous.
According to Gavigan The Honest Company is having a conversation with TheHonestToddler.com about trademark. They (The Honest Company) have a business founded on moms doing well. Bloggers are important to them and they want The Honest Toddler to do business, they just need to protect their existing trademark. He goes on to say, “We have not defamed, bullied, or been mean in any way. Nor are we trying to lock up the word ‘Honest’ in a trademark – we simply have ‘superior rights’ in certain classes, and are acting, like any entity, to protect that which we were granted first.”
Gavigan told me no less than three times that he wanted to see Laditan succeed. He reiterated the fact that he wanted to see her on TV and loves TheHonestToddler.com. Unfortunately when solopreneurs get letters from lawyers they typically freak out. This is posted on Facebook.
As with most legal actions this looks like a complete breakdown of communication. I can’t imagine what Bunmi Laditan feels like right now. She’s probably worried that she’s going to lose a TV deal. I can tell you this, she might. I can also tell you something that no one else will be kind enough to tell you. If she loses the deal it won’t be because of a lawyer’s letter. Lawyers write letters all the time. If she loses the TV deal it will be because of the epic meltdown and rallying of the troops on her Facebook page (which boasts an impressive 151,000 fans).
I don’t know what to say to The Honest Company. They’ve put up an explanation at HonestToddler.com and it would be great if bloggers would read that rather than calling a trademark owner a bully. Ladian has posted her own timeline of events.
My hope is that both sides will talk, there will be a coexistence agreement and we’ll get to laugh with The Honest Toddler on TV, online and in print. Most importantly bloggers covering this as a spectacle need to keep in mind that it takes a lot of work to build a brand. So many of us want to be taken seriously and when companies approach us and want to work with us we need to be able to tell them how we influence others. If your only value is demolition ask yourself how much that’s worth.
When you go to your Facebook private messages there are actually two inboxes. If you’re like me you check the “other” messages about once every two years. Since I have an insane headache and I’m cranky I went ahead and took a look at some of those “other” messages and decided that I’d give people the opportunity to stand behind their words.
Here’s a selection from the last 12 months. Behold…
I thought that I would miss Facebook. I really don’t. I thought that I’d miss twitter. Nope. I thought I’d miss connecting with my friends. I do connect with my friends and now when we text or talk we haven’t had the conversation already.
I’ve been enjoying your blog even more after your Facebook break!
Which made my heart soar, mostly because Gib gives it to me straight and also because he’s smart and thoughtful and I’m so happy to have a text from him rather than a Facebook update… which is odd because I’m supposed to think that text messages are impersonal but somehow they’ve become personal again.
I didn’t know about a school shooting until 6 or maybe 8 hours after it happened. Do you know how that affected my life? It didn’t.
I don’t know what other bloggers have written unless I’m subscribed to their sites or if they’ve emailed me. Some of them have publicists who email me updates and I’m not sure if I should be squicked out or following their lead. I’m staying with squick.
The only social media I’m really participating in is Goodreads. I’ve read more more books and less status updates. If you haven’t read Breakfast at Tiffany’s I’d urge you to do so, it’s a one day read, a short part of your day really. It’s showing at the Arclight next weekend and after reading and seeing them in rapid succession it might demonstrate why Capote never really liked Hepburn as Holly Golightly.
It’s dull here. I’m reading a lot, spending time with my family and finding opportunities for other bloggers. I’m drama free. It’s a nightmare for blogging but a boon for existence.
The Facebook, G+ and Twitter fast is going better than I’d ever imagined. I have seen a drop off of readership here and I’m sorry about that but I try to tell myself that at some point my friends will think, “I haven’t heard from Jessica in a while. Maybe I should check her blog.” Or maybe not. Maybe I’m missable. That’s okay with me too.
I had a tennis match at 9 this morning and typically you have 90 minutes on the court before someone gives you the boot. Sometimes that’s frustrating, sometimes 90 minutes is more than enough time to humiliate yourself. This morning I had a match with an actress. The pro had told me she was an actress and he’d also told me that he expected her to win the ladies 3.5 singles tourney (in which I’m competing). Actresses are my least favorite people, they’re sort of like bloggers with body dysmorphia thrown in and have a habit of actress avoidance.
The actress was very unactressy and that was just the beginning of a mostly perfect day. Of course she was tall and thin and she sort of lept across the court and she even beat me (but I really don’t think that will happen again). She was really nice, really fun to play tennis with (we were stuck at deuce a zillion times) and when we stopped to chat and catch our breaths she was really insightful and curious. So when I got a text that my 11am meeting was pushed to 11.15 and it was 10.40 and 4-2 I was thrilled to be able to finish the second set. Of course it was a 55 degree morning and my arthritis hates the cold so it was absolute kismet that I would have a 1.45 acupuncture appointment.
Is there any cliche I haven’t become?
From tennis there was a meeting with Glass Elevator and every so often I pinch myself because I realize that I’m working with women who are bright and creative and articulate and I’ve somehow fooled them into taking me along for the ride. We are SoClose to being able to share an exciting new project with the world that will have you laughing and loving the way we communicate.
And to round out the perfection it’s my husband’s first night away. I love that man but I love the first night he’s gone. I’m going to sleep diagonal after watching Downton Abbey or some other estrofest and in addition to not having put on any makeup I haven’t brushed my hair nor do I plan on it. That first night away is good for both of us. The second night I really miss him and the third night is downright lonely. The fourth night is miserable and I usually start inviting people for dinner and I’m thrilled to say that this time there will be no fifth night. He’ll be home for Super Bowl.
Which reminds me of my own pending travel and the fact that I’ve booked airline tickets for myself and my son but not Mr. G. His new work schedule has been so awful that we are doubting that he’ll come along for spring break so rather than buying and not using a ticket we’ve decided to roll the dice and if he can join us he will. Jane will be in London and Alexander and I will return to Amelia Island with a friend of his. It’s our first time doing anything like this and I see it as a sign of marital strength even though it has me feeling lonely and overwhelmed in advance.
2013 will be the year of independence. Unwanted independence for both of us. I’m not worried about if we can do it. I’m just a little pissy that we have to.