Online commenters and message boards often get tagged as exhibits A and B for why “the worldwide web is an incorrigibly hostile environment.” Content trawlers love to “pick on barely literate commenters” while nutpicking is one of the grand, if unfortunate, traditions of the partisan blog wars. But not all discussion threads are created equally worthless.
Here’s a perfect example: A commenter on HTMLGIANT provides a link to a thread on a StephenMalkmus.com message board that contains nine pieces by David Berman that have only been published in small presses that have locked them behind subscription walls. Not even The Corduroy Suit Institute has these babies (though that digital Whitney does guard four other such artifacts).
Disregarding the copyright issues involved here, I, the fan, am tickled that I finally have the opportunity to check these out. The moral: Much maligned subterranean discussers can add to the net supply of good in this world.