I’m going to kick off a multi-part series on US Census data by offering a totally free download, in XLS or CSV format, of something strangely hard-to-Google: the 2010 US Census population by Zip code (technically, by ZCTA). Splitwise is offering these files free of charge and in the public domain, and I can’t believe how many other sites are charging for them!
But the difficulty I had in creating this data set and using the US Census website has inspired me to write a bit more about how to use one of the world’s most interesting open data sources.
If you are the creator of a website or web application yourself, you might want to install the rack-preview gem for Ruby, or something similar. We discovered Safari Top Sites was polluting Splitwise’s Google Analytics and Mixpanel data.
A couple of weeks ago, while digging into our site analytics, we noticed something strange with Safari. We’d just launched Fat Rabbit and were really interested in making sure we measured all the useful statistics around user growth and engagement. As we pulled out interesting details about website visits (using a combination of Google Analytics and Mixpanel), we started seeing an odd pattern – the average visit length on Safari was half that of our other browsers and the bounce rate was much higher.
After two long years of trying to figure out how to make money, Splitwise has finally settled on a sustainable business model that will enhance the user experience of our website and keep ourselves profitable into the future.
Charging money for payments? Lame. Advertisements? Meh. Premium features? What premium features?
We’ve been dying to improve our “Divide A Bill” dialog box for months, and a preliminary version is finally ready! Take a look below, and please give us feedback or suggestions in the comments. We’ve been rolling it out slowly over the past few days, and all users will have it by early next week.
The form has been completely redesigned from scratch, with two killer new features.
You can add people into the “With’ field just like an email – without tons of clicking. SO much easier, and much more like the iPhone and Android apps.
Adding new people will automatically add them into the expense without clearing your existing data (a big complaint in the old version).
Splitwise is planning a big redesign of the website and mobile apps for winter 2013, based on all the things we’ve learned since this past August. We’re releasing some intermediate changes to the website over the next few days – please, let us know your feedback!
I’ve been working on some speculative projects for Splitwise this week (fun!). I ran into some issues where I needed to do more image manipulation than is possible in iOS, so I needed to add some magic to my project. Ahem. I mean ImageMagick.
Fortunately for me, Claudio Marforio did the work to build ImageMagick for iOS armv6 and armv7. Unfortunately, I need libraries that work with armv7 and armv7s for the newer iOS devices. With some time spent tweaking build files, I was able to update his script and put together my own version that supports the newer hardware.
For most of you, there’s no need to build your own version. I’m working with Claudio to get this update pushed out to the official ImageMagick ftp, but you can grab a copy now.Update: Claudio published the updated files to the ImageMagick FTP site.
Ever get caught in a debt triangle? You know: Mike owes you $20 for the electric bill, but he’s waiting for Anna to pay him for back for pizza last weekend, and she’s waiting for you to pay her back for those movie tickets…
In the end, nobody owes anyone anything – but until you figure that out, it’s one giant pain in the neck.