Well, maybe not the blood... But after a week just downloading, installing, testing (and stifled curses) I'm nearly ready to get some real findings out here.
Ease of use really tops features. Community development trumps brilliant programmers.
But I haven't really found any bad programs - just some I couldn't get to work.
A caveat here: you really don't want an automatic article submitter. You want to have it run with a nice screen that changes from time to time. This way you can tell it's working and what its actually doing. Scripts/programs are only as good as their authors. If you can see what's going on then you can see what you can do (or not) to fix it. Otherwise, you don't know if you are just spamming these directories.
Again, I'd rather have something that simply works rather than something that is involved and needs work - regardless of the price.
In all cases, the biggest time you have is to register with all these article directories. The few I've seen who didn't - they didn't actually work, either. But all of these programs make you login and register with all these directories. Now the bulk of them are Article Dashboard sites, which makes it easier. (I've heard the point that people have been trying to hack these, but also have seen that they have posted changes to fix those holes...)
The best one of the lot made registering fast. That same program enabled me to select directories ahead of submissions - which made it possible to get the most articles submitted in the least time.
That is the essential point - I need to submit about 15 - 30 articles per week, for three different email lists I'm building.
There are a lot of details to submitting articles. But I did the hard route first, and I got pretty fast at cut and paste - but did maybe 20 articles in four hours. I couldn't login and submit articles in the background while I did other things. This was all foreground, not multi-tasking.
When I then get a program which submits to over 150 directories in 4 hours, while I'm working on new articles - this make far more economic sense to me.
An interesting point is that I came back to this after having a "perfectly good" article submitter - and found it now sluggish.
So I'm sold on one very workable article submitter, paired with a good text editor.
And the next thing to add is a simple pad where I can note those sites which don't work friendly. (Seems some of these sites won't let you register with them - still on the trail of this bad beast.)
But overall, it's promising that I don't have to pay out the yazoo for some program - or have to put up with sluggish freeware products.
And, no, I'm not an affiliate for any of these programs (yet). Oddly, I've also gotten the full resale rights to one of them, as well as instructions on how to re-brand it and even reprogram it if I wanted to...
So that's another cycle down the line.
Hopefully, in a few days, I'll be able to give you a good rundown on these programs and how they work.