Chris Anderson, ex-editor of Editor in Chief of Wired magazine and chief pusher of the Long Tail meme ran into some issues relating to Xbox 360 as a Media Center extender. The bad news is that the usual support channels weren't able to help out. The good news is that he was able to contact a Microsoft PM, Charlie Owen, directly via his blog and got the issue resolved through him.

I love this example of how company blogs are changing the customer relations game. Chris says it all:

"This is a great example of how company blogs can improve consumer relations by putting a human face on the development team. That's helpful in problem solving, as in my case, but it's even more useful in passing on tips and tricks from the pros and inviting suggestions from users on future development.

The old model was mostly to use newsgroups and forums for this, and that still has its place for really specific tech support. But I find blogs far easier to navigate and read, and you can subscribe to them in a way that you can't with newsgroups. Obviously not all developers want to take on the email and comment burden that comes with having a blog, but it only takes a few to really improve the customer relationship. Hats off to Charlie and the rest of the Media Center team for the fine role model."