User generated content is probably the best product support system out there, unlike so many companies who do not know or do not want you to know and are less likely to share their product deficiencies and workarounds. Nor can they compete with the innovation collective of thousands of people who gnaw at the same problem because it means something to them. Customer support teams are often people who answer questions based on a database, if you don't frame the question correctly, you will get no answer or worst, the wrong one. People who blog about the problem usually have experienced it first hand and gone down many dead ends. It is that appreciation of the knowledge they possess that makes them want to share.
Companies bold enough to embrace good and bad opinion and be part of the conversation will win because they present a refreshing sense of authenticity into the company-customer relationship. Customers are more likely to stay with you if you can show that your customer is not part of the problem but also part of the solution. Without exception, the appreciation of our members comes not because we solve the problem (sometimes we can't) but because, we acknowledged, we listened and we replied.
Tony and I are tempted to get matching tattoos that say "Google first, ask questions later..."