A learning curve, for certain - the film I completed in October of last year, Seule Tod, has been making the rounds of Film Freeway online, and the results are mixed, but I'm learning a lot about the process. It has been since 2007 since I've had any real connections with festivals (the truly delightful KAFI experience in Kalamazoo being the last, helmed by the indefatigable David Baker, now of FSU), whether contributing to or serving as judge or presenter (oh, the powerpoints!).
Nonetheless, Seule Tod is being seen, I believe, and has been earning "laurels" (those leafy things one sees frequently at the start of many independent bits of animation) on occasion, even if they can give the impression of a participation prize ("Hey, his Paypal came through, better give him something or he won't submit things again!").
It has been entered in over 40 festivals so far, and yes, that's a bit of an overkill, but again, it's a learning curve. I'm summarizing my observations for a future issue of the ASIFA Central newsletter. Some of these online festivals stand upon a very questionable foundation.
So far -