I did the same with article sites, but only for getting links. I'd completely re-write articles I wrote for my own site and submit them to e-zine and a couple of others.
I did too, but I only put a maximum of two articles on about six sites total. Not a strong SEO effort. LOL But with Panda I am thankful I didn't pursue it.
I can't say that the strategy worked as planned, as many sites that republished my articles either didn't use anchor tags for my links or didn't include links at all. I finally gave up on using articles.
I too gave up on it. I don't even post on Gather which actually paid me to read their stuff.
But I did have some success on one article I did it on. In fact, it is still ranking even after Panda. I only put a few inbound links.
Nevertheless, I wonder how much the articles that are out there with links hurt a site?
Yes, if it can hurt a site, then why not put a ton of junk articles up pointing to your competitor. :)
There are programs you can buy (or maybe free now), that can turn one article into hundreds and broadcast the spam across the Internet. Talk about trashing up the Internet...
Gather has an interesting model though. They are trying to make a social networking site that actually pays you to use it. I like the idea, considering Facebook never paid me a dime. LOL