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Not sure I like the whole idea of complete automation due to duplication of text links and descriptions.
Can anyone provide some insight in feeding a new directory with listing?
the time needed to visit all sites is normally alot even if [u]they[/u] are paying [a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en/technology/pigeonrank.html"]piegons.[/a]
To stand out enough to develop a following you'll need to collect links that distinguish your directory. If the best you can do is mimic the Google directory, there's not much point other than perhaps the short-term. With original links, content, perhaps services then there's potential and using DMOZ links to keep categories (already including original links) from looking too bare can then make sense.