It was Second Life at one point. Foursquare. The newest object is Quora. 2011 will deliver more bright, shiny objects. And many of us will lament the marketers attraction to them.

Marketers love bright, shiny objects because it’s easy. It’s hard to come up with a landing page that stands out. It’s hard to develop a Facebook strategy that is more signal than noise. It’s hard to develop an innovative SEM strategy. You’re fighting for the attention with thousands and thousands of other brands and people trying to do the same. And it’s harder to succeed with proven marketing tactics.

Bright, shiny objects are much more forgiving. It’s easier to stand out, it’s easier to get recognition in the marketing echo chamber and nobody faults you when you fail. (Just ask all the agencies that developed Second Life islands.)

Nothing against trying new things, exploring new tactics. But it should be based on solid insights and ROI. Not because it was easy.

That’s the real