The search engines are still looking for great content, this hasn't changed they're just looking for it in different places and by different means. So what can we do?
There are many places you can put your content on, you are by no means limited to the article directories. Here's a few things you can do with that article you've just written instead of or in addition to article directories.
1. First and foremost you should always place your article on your blog. If you don't have one and are writing articles regularly go and get one now. Get the content on your blog indexed then submit it to where ever else you want to.
2. Web2.0 properties such as Squidoo Lenses and Hubpages are still good places to put your articles if not as good as they once were.
3. Forum posts. Write a thread like this one and post it on a popular forum.
4. Video. Make an article video using some free tools like Camstudio, Openoffice and Windows Movie Maker.
5. Turn your article into a podcast and submit it to podcasting websites.
6. Document sharing sites. These are great, you can upload slide shows, PDF's and a few other types of document.
7. Collate a bunch of articles and combine them into an ebook. Even better plan to write an ebook and write each chapter as an article, submit the articles as you write them and then when you've finished the ebook compile it together and distribute it.
There are many other ways you can use the content you produce to help your visitors and drive traffic to your site. If you're just submitting to the article directories then you're leaving traffic on the table.
I am always interested in different places that I can distribute by content to in whether it be audio, video or written content so if you know of any good ones please share them on the thread.