I compile this list every year, so I started by checking all 85 blogs on last year's list to see how many of them still linked here. More than one in four have fallen by the wayside and don't appear this year. Of the missing 20 or so blogs, one has vanished off the face of the internet, three have removed their blogrolls after updating to a revamped template (which appears to be 'a thing', as the mobile-friendly web gets less cluttered), one is still going strong but has removed me from their blogroll (most years it's more than that, so I must be doing something right) and the rest are now on hiatus (either deliberately after a farewell post, or through month-long neglect). And that's a shame. Over the years that's an incredibly high proportion of blogs that have faded away because, well, it's all a bit passé innit?
A few blogs have returned to my list after a year or more off. They slipped out because nothing was posted when I ran this survey last July, but something's appeared again this month so now they're back in. For some, it seems, their blog has become somewhere to publish thoughts occasionally, when inspiration strikes, without feeling pressured to post something more regularly. Meanwhile I can usually refresh my annual list by adding several new blogs, but this year (although I've hunted) there don't appear to be many to find. My list is ever-shrinking, and is now barely a third the size of the 200+ it held six years ago. Talk about a dying art.
Alas this is evidence of the continued long-term decline of blogging as a means of communication. Fewer people blog these days because alternative platforms exist (and take far less effort to update, and get instant feedback). Self-broadcasting is no clique any more, it's a universal collective, which leaves those of us who still create long-form prose down something of a cul-de-sac. Indeed images have already overtaken text for most, as people spend their days looking at photos of their mates, making conversation by appending snapshots of appropriate scenes from Family Guy, and watching videos of kittens on skateboards falling into swimming pools. Why bother writing anything, quite frankly, when nobody has time for anything more than swiftly digestible nuggets?
Simultaneously blogrolls have become invisible and irrelevant, especially to anyone subscribed via an RSS feed, so only us old-school bloggers maintain them. The majority of fresh 2015 blogs have no blogroll at all, because the modern focus is more about self-promotion than sharing, and because sidebars don't look good on smartphones. Indeed the relentless emphasis on responsive website design militates against awkward lists of tiny text, because only big chunky buttons and drop down menus are acceptable to clumsy tablet thumbs. Most importantly, new readers no longer come clicking via a long-standing blogroll in a sidebar, they arrive via a one-off reference on Twitter/Facebook/whatever. A blog is now only as good as its last post, and long-term reputation counts for almost nothing.
I still have a blogroll, of course, I have done since I started, even if you've never used it. It's over there on the right hand side of the page, assuming you're reading this page as I intended rather than just the stripped-out content elsewhere. I link to 20 blogs I like and admire, partly to showcase them to others, but also so I have a quick means of reading them. Less than half of these blogs have a blogroll, so only a fraction link back, but hey, no problem.
Anyway, I hope that today's list of blogs with diamond geezer on their blogroll is fairly complete, but I bet it isn't. Let me know if I've missed you/anyone off the list, and I'll come back and add you/them later. And maybe you'd like to click on a few of these 82 links to see what you're missing. I can't promise they're all thrilling verbal discourses, but I'm sure you'll discover plenty that are.