Megan Calhoun’s online community, TwitterMoms, home of message boards with titles like “I Wrote My Obituary and It Changed My Life!” and Twitter parties sponsored by big-name brands like Lysol, has been re-named. According to her announcement post, Calhoun had received an email from Twitter back in September. It seems they had finally gotten wind of the site’s existence, and considered TwitterMoms a violation of their brand name.
“After more than two years of operating a public fan site dedicated to nurturing, supporting and promoting Twitter to the ‘mom’ community, they asked us to change the name of our web site for trademark reasons,” Calhoun writes in the post. Because the site had evolved from what it once was, she says, she and her team were considering changing the name anyway. The new site, SocialMoms.com, launched this month, and Calhoun started using the @SocialMoms handle today.
Twitter’s trademark rules are spelled out in a helpful post that offers a breakdown for the average reader (that is, people who are not lawyers). “It’s important for users to be able to trust Twitter and not be confused about our relationship with the many people and organizations who use our marks.” The rule in this case is clear – under “Naming your Application or Product, Applying for a Domain,” the first “Don’t” is “Use Twitter in the name of your website or application.”
Interesting timing for Twitter, considering Calhoun started her community two years ago as one mom connecting other moms using social media. Now that the venture has grown into a business that paid “hundreds of moms…more than $160,000 in 2010,” Twitter is paying attention.