Why Large Organizations Lose on the Web
A popular joke of the 21st century has been that the Web is "ruled" by teenagers. That saying may be a joke, but the truth is: we live in an era in which a self-organized group of college students, without any funding can take on global organizations like HSBC.
Because large organizations are too SLOW! Web is extremely fast-paced and the large bureaucratic beasts are often just way too late to the party.
To give couple examples:
1) In most organizations people who can quickly react to an emerging topic, on the Web, concerning the organization, are not allowed to. The messages "have to go through proper channels" and channels take time.
Solution: either remove the channels or make sure they do not take so much time. Can you achieve 10-minute turnaround? If not - relax the preemptive oversight. Educate your employes on what's acceptable and what is not. Let them take initiatives of engaging in the conversations on the Web, let them make mistakes (they will make some), make sure they learn from those.
2) Use agile technologies. Forget about "enterprise" this and that. Forget about "big company consultants". Use what is already available: Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, GoogleMaps etc. For the part you need to build, use Drupal, WordPress, DJango, RubyOnRails. Use technologies that can give you results QUICKLY.
I've been a Java architect long enough and I know enterprise Java technologies well-enough to allow myself say this: most organizations that build websites in Java (or any other heavy-weight technology like that) are just wasting their time. Java is great and there are many incredible things you can build with it if you are an Internet backbone company like Verisign, but Java is not for your blogging needs or even for your website of average complexity.
Be responsive, be quick, be agile. Worn-out phrase or not, I will repeat this: please, please, do not be afraid to make mistakes.