A thread at HighRankings named To B Or Not To B...central, Should I join bcentral?, asked the question - should I submit my site to http://sbd.bcentral.com/ or not?
The only issue people seemed to have with this program was that they recommended using an automated submission program. Most SEOs say this is one of the classic no-nos. Other's hate this program because it's by Microsoft and they require you to sign up for their "Microsoft .NET Passport" - ehh.
For what it's worth, I run linking campaigns for clients for both a standard SEO package and as a standalone service, so I'm very, very careful about the directories I link to.
I have a 15 point checklist for them and unless it passes all 15 points I don't go with them (actual list is confidential, but common sense - no black magic)
Anyway, I originally passed on this directory for the very reason that everyone else is concerned with - the automatic submissions issue. The directory passed every other test, but failed my "supports spammers" test
Recently I had a client ask me about it, and I told him why I had not automatically submitted to it, and he agreed, but felt that it still might be worth it. We discussed it for some time. This client is very web and business savvy, has a lot of traffic and conversions and I respect both his ethics and interest in his websites.
At the end of the day, we agreed that we should submit to the SBD IN SPITE of the automatic submissions. The directory has enough value that for him and many others it's worth it.
It's pretty bad when something that is clearly a trademark Microsoft "lets hold your hand" policy is considered good reason to avoid using the product.
Worse, they are teaching inexperienced website owners that automatic submissions are "ok", which is incredibly naive behavior for a company that wishes to take a lead in search. I know these are different departments, but geeze, this doesn't look good.
Currently I DO recommend submission, but only after I've educated the client as to what the issues are. I wish I could make a better recommendation based on the value of the directory itself, but I can't in good faith based on it's submission policy.
Maybe they don't get the concept that I would happily pay the same amount and skip the automatic submissions.
mcanerin, Ian, in fact started a new topic on this today at Search Engine Watch and named it MS Small Business Directory - SBD.