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Stargayzing 2.0 is (Finally) Here

Stargayzing 2.0 is (Finally) Here

Munk's Junk (Everything Else)

The hiatus of Stargayzing was meant to last a month and stretched on to nearly seven. During this unwanted extended break, I have learned a great deal about the technical aspects of WordPress, the difficulty and (ultimately) pleasure of collaborating with web designers and programmers and, most importantly, how very much this blog means to me.

The drama began when I took my yearly one month August hiatus last summer. During that time, the blog broke down, just like an old car, but not one that could be coaxed to move again. This was a complete leave-it-by-the-side-of-the-road-with-a-sign break-down. Why?  Because when I began the blog back around 2010, my first programmer basically let me go on a total design bender. In my fervent desire for Stargayzing to not look like every other blog, he wrote tons of custom code without ever advising me that this might create problems down the road. What did I know?  I was a blogging and social media neophyte and only so happy to have a blog that reflected every design idea I had to a tee. But there were problems ahead.

 

Stargayzing Old Logo
The Old Stargayzing Logo

As the blog grew, I was unable to update WordPress owing to the aforementioned custom coding. I was initially advised this would not be problematic.  Guess what?  Yeah, problematic. Back then I don’t think the idea of a website being “responsive”—or able to automatically reconfigure for different devices—was even on the radar (did they even have iPads and tablets in 2010?) This also came to haunt me because falling behind in updates made getting Google Adsense to approve me for ads impossible and, even worse, it came to be regarded as “old-fashioned.”  At this I took umbrage: Interested in what happened in the past was great, but old-fashioned pissed me off (especially when it made growing the blog as difficult as passing a herd of cattle on a one lane road).

DeGraw and 4th Avenue, Brooklyn
4th Avenue and DeGraw Street, Brooklyn New York. No filter!

When the blog collapsed under the weight of my custom coding last August (like the sweet, overloaded dog in How the Grinch Stole Christmas),  I figured I would just find a designer and return with a redesigned Stargayzing 2.0 in a month or two. Three designers later and several attempts at coming up with a new template that would have some of the spirit of the old blog but look fresh and modern, here we are. It’s interesting how my insistence that the blog look unlike anything else has been replaced by a desire that it doesn’t visually call attention to itself.  I’ve learned so much during these months away. It will take me a few months to work out all of the kinks (resizing images, losing some older pieces that I don’t care for anymore and so on.)  Please be patient while I wend my way through five years of writing.

During the hiatus, I moved to Brooklyn, lost my beloved friend Natalie Cole, and really missed writing for you. The good news is I’m back and reenergized. The next challenge: the learning curve of monetization, but I’m ready.

David Munk
With Stargayzer and dear friend Erin Waks visiting from Dallas a few weeks back. I was told you can’t move to Brooklyn without a proper beard (on my face, not Erin!)

I would be remiss without thanking my web hosting and tech guru Jonathan Young and, at long last, a really wonderful designer named Robert Kerr who saved my ass and restored my belief that collaborating on web design can be fun and gratifying.

As spring begins and the blog leaps forward, I hope you’ll rejoin me and spread the word.  As Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Looking forward,

David

8 Comments

  1. Louiev
    March 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm
    Reply

    Go luck. Looking forward to more of you great stories!

  2. Sandi
    March 15, 2016 at 11:09 pm
    Reply

    Yay David!

  3. Karen
    March 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm
    Reply

    You’re Awesome, didn’t know any of this but missed your posts. Glad it worked out and you are ON again!

    • David Munk
      March 17, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Karen, I really appreciate your support. It means everything.

      David

  4. Robert Kerr
    March 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the comments and shout out David!

    I do appreciate it and hope to see your blog continue to grow. It is certainly worthy!

  5. John
    March 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm
    Reply

    Man did I miss you. Keep up the good work.

  6. Rick Hough
    March 30, 2016 at 7:37 am
    Reply

    Welcome back, and very best of luck…make a million…you’re worth it bud!

    As Oscar Wilde did not say: “Those who whine about their love lives have obviously never experienced the very real pain and sorrow of getting a website up and running”.

    • David Munk
      March 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Ha! I love that quote as I was just called “high maintenance” this morning by someone I’ve been working with for a long time. I guess I’m high maintenance because I expect people to be detail oriented. I guess I can live with that. Thanks for all the support Rick. David

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