“SEO is a marketing function for sure,
but it needs to be baked into a product,
not slapped on like icing
after the cake is baked.”

Duane Forrester

Paid vs. Free: Weather Apps

When you think about it, it’s kind of bizarre how many weather apps are out there. The number of ways to see if it’s raining later is a bit overwhelming. For that reason alone, I recommend that you do not buy a weather app. Plain and simple, don’t do it. The Weather Channel free app, for example, has everything you need: current temperature, radar, 10-day forecast, hourly forecast, and even a social feed that shows what people in your area are saying about the weather.

That being said, the new update on The Weather Channel (TWC) has really slowed down my device and it sucks the life out of my battery like an episode of Game of Thrones. Moreover, I can’t tell you how much I despise the overly dramatic push notifications they send: “River rats running wild, go indoors!” I end up just turning off the notifications.

Could it be time for change? Here are some weather apps both Paid and Free worth looking into.

1. AccuWeather (Free/$2.99) – iOS and Android - Rivaling TWC in free weather
app downloads is AccuWeather (TWC is #1; Yahoo! Weather #2; AccuWeather #3). Users rave about the accurate information and frequent refreshes on the app, making it a viable alternative. In all honesty, it’s the same thing as TWC with a different user interface.

Breakdown: Similar to The Weather Channel app. Definitely do not purchase the paid version.

AccuWeather on the left, The Weather Channel on the right. The differences are subtle.


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The Cost of College [INFOGRAPHIC]

With a Bachelor’s Degree becoming a necessity, rather than a competitive advantage, the demand, and consequently the rise, of college tuition has skyrocketed. Even with the economy in a funk, colleges nationwide are raising the cost of attending a four year university. Students are parents are left looking for an education that doesn’t leave them paying loans for decades after graduation. Take a look at price tags of common costs like tuition and room & board.

Paid vs. Free: Communication Apps

When we hear “communication”, we usually think of speech between a few people. Well, that’s fine, however, recent mobile technology has redefined communication. In short, not only will you be talking with your apps, but you’ll also be talking to them! This week’s Paid vs. Free application analysis focuses on communication applications. Let’s take a look at how far your dollar goes towards premium communicative services.

1. Torque (Free/$4.95) - Android only - Torque is an interactive application, serving as the interpreter between you and your car. The aim of Torque is to provide you with displays, in real-time, of what your car wants to tell you (GPS status, gas milage, engine codes.) I definitely like the ease of a mechanical interpreter in my pocket, however, I found that this app is nothing like an actual mechanic, in neither the lite nor premium version. Still, Torque is novel and will probably lend you a ton of useful tips about your ride, for little to no cost.

Breakdown: If you’re looking to become more knowledgeable about your vehicle, Torque lite is the perfect start. The advertisements can be annoying at times, but seeing that Torque is quick to update its display, it’s possible that the ads will not be so irritating in the future. I advise any casual drivers to download Torque today, and more serious drivers to invest in the full application.


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21st Century Coupons: A New Way To Save Money

While many smart savers utilize daily deals like Groupon and Livingsocial, few shoppers, particularly within the 18-25 demographic, make good use of coupons. Coupons are those small slips of paper that your grandparents cut out and take to the grocery store in a giant stack. But similar to how your grandma reads a physical newspaper rather than an online version, obtaining and using coupons nowadays is far easier. After a good amount of research, I have identified 4 really useful sites for finding working coupons and explained what makes each site unique.

1. Slickdeals - This is America, which means everyone gets a vote. Slickdeals is powered by its faithful users and works like a forum or thread. People go on and post deals and promotions, and other users vote the deal up or down or comment on the original post. This allows people to cite problems, concerns or added savings on the sale. Thanks to the constantly updated information, the deals and sales on the site are fairly accurate and always changing.  

He just saved a bunch using online coupons.


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Is Using A Daily Deal On A Date Unacceptable?

Is it OK to use a daily deal, like Groupon or Livingsocial, on a date? Sounds like just another question added to the long list of dating dos and don’ts.

Once your relationship passes a certain point, it is, or undoubtedly should be, acceptable to whip out a coupon for buy one entree get one free or $20 for $30 worth of food. At that point, both parties have probably invested a fair amount of time and money into the relationship and have some level of concern for each other’s well being, therefore a meal on a budget is no problem. However if you restrict the situation to the first, or even first few dates, it may be a glaring turn-off and could end all likelihood of a next date. After spending some time scouring the internet, the general feedback has been pretty split, 50/50 , which aren’t great odds considering your date hasn’t even started.

So let’s focus our attention on college students, a demographic that is well documented as not having much to work with on the financial front. Regardless of the fact that dating in college is not as common today, one on one intimate interactions that cost money are inevitable and someone has to pay. Unfortunately, when it comes to using a daily deal, it’s all about the situation, and like dating at other ages, there is no real answer. While it should be more accepted, it is not guaranteed to be permissible.


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A Month At Waspit In Review – January 2013

The first month of the new year has passed, time is flying, and summer is going to be here before we know it. Our team has been working hard as always and in the next few months we will be releasing some exciting features. We are learning from your constant feedback and because of your support the Waspit Platform gets better everyday.

The first question you should ask yourself is: how are you holding to your New Year’s Resolutions? I know I set personal goals for myself as did Waspit. We are striving to give you a better experience, more features, and will continue to do this. So if you have input, please let us know, we are listening.


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Pymnts.com Innovation Project and Awards 2013

We’re only halfway through our first day at the  Pymnts.com Innovation Project and I’ve already been inspired enough to write something up. In what feels like a short morning (it wasn’t, breakfast and registration began at 7:30), a sterling attendance of top executives and heavy hitters in the payments industry have heard from an exciting number of influential thought leaders and innovators.  The headliners include the Treasurer of the United States, Rosie Rios, former Vice President, Al Gore, and “The Oracle of Omaha,” billionaire businessman, Warren Buffett.

The focus of the conference is simply innovation in payments. Karen Webster, the CEO of Mobile Platform Dynamics and President of Pymnts.com, began the day with a reflection of what innovation means. The word innovation stems from the Latin word innovare which translates to “renew or change.” Whether that is making a process or tool easier to use, more efficient, more accessible, or more effective, innovating is improving the ways we as humans operate.


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Failing Breeds Success

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.” When people think of Michael Jordan do they think of someone who has failed? No, they think of the best basketball player who ever lived.

This past week the Waspit team took a fantastic trip up to Harvard University for the 2013 PYMNTS Innovation Project and Awards after being selected as having one of the top 5 Debit Innovations of the year. Not only did we attend with the hopes be being given the title “The Best Debit Innovation”, we also had the opportunity to showcase our new UI and connect with some of the best minds in the industry.

After receiving tremendous support from our users (you) we were hopeful going into the awards ceremony. We were up against industry titans who have been around for years and already have a strong grip in payments. We  thought that even though we might not be as well known, we are offering a service that is in need and NO ONE else is providing – Banking 2.0.


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A Look in the Hive: Waspit HQ

I have a few hundred friends on Facebook, so I guess you could say my social life is pretty crazy. But something still bothers me when I comment on a Facebook post and I get totally ignored. Like you, Google, you’re great and I want to be friends, but you can’t just ignore me every time I comment on your posts! Sometimes I wonder what other offices are like, compared to Waspit HQ.

I picture Google’s office as a mega-complex in the mountains with waterfalls and staff unicorns that give employees rides to their meetings. Frankly, I’m happy for Google and their corporate unicorns, but can unicorns answer me on Facebook? The answer is no. At Waspit headquarters, here in NYC, we don’t have corporate-corns, but we can walk to our own meetings and we can type. Not to brag, of course.


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Waspit’s Summer Brand Ambassador

Waspit is excited to present yet another awesome marketing position that will undoubtedly improve your marketing skills and likely make you some serious summertime cash. Due to a huge volume of college students showing interest in a nonexistent summer position, we asked ourselves, “hey, why don’t we just offer one?”

So, in typical start-up fashion, we went to the strategy room (also our meeting, waiting, and conference room), sat down, and created a sweet summer position. The position involves you going out and showing off the sleek, new Waspit platform and app. For every new person you get to sign up, you get $5 and once you hit 100 total sign ups, we’ll give you a generous bonus.


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Celebrating Our 100th Blog!

Celebration is in order for our 100th blog post! Firstly, we want to thank everyone who has read any of our blogs in the past. We have had a lot of fun writing these posts and appreciate every visitor that comes to the page – both our regulars and those who are just passing through. We doubly appreciate those of you who have reached out and commented on a post!

Our past 99 blogs have covered a number of ways you can better save and spend your money – frombuying a car, to “affordable” dates, to whether or not upgrading to a paid version of a mobile app is worth it. The mission of our blog is similar to that of our service: to offer something that has been missing – financial solutions – to students and young adults. As we proceed (to give you what ya’ll need), we will continue to refine our focus to better deliver you valuable and informative ways to manage your money – from everyday purchases to long term saving. Likewise, as we innovate the Waspit platform, we will keep developing relevant and meaningful features that actually relate to the user and the users’ needs. Excitement is escalating around the Waspit HQ as the platform progresses and the live date of our new platform grows near!


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