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Let's Test The System 14 December 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

Back in September I mentioned that I had received a number of inquiries from people wanting to purchase kitsets for the jet engines I've been building.

Since then, I've received what amounts to 30 orders for these engines which represents a value of NZ$20,000 -- not a small sum.

Inquiries have come in from the USA, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia and many other parts of the world -- with people keen to use the engines for microlight aircraft, hang-gliders, boats, gokarts and just for fun.

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So, I figure I've now reached the critical mass where it has finally become a viable business -- but more R&D is required to continue improving the design of the engines and launching the venture on a commercial basis will require some hard cash. So, I've decided to try out the government's grants scheme and see whether this enterprising venture qualifies for funding.

I doubt much will happen before the new year but I will now start a diary and keep readers advised as to the amount of time spent applying for the relevant funding. It's time to see if these programmes work as advertised.

Although not strictly a "new economy" operation, it is a business which relies on good ideas and effective use of the Internet as a marketing tool and should qualify for at least one of the government's schemes, thus making it worthy of mention here.

For example, it wasn't hard to ensure that I got top ranking on Google for the search term pulse-jet engine" and a good position on Yahoo's search for the term homebuilt jet engine.

As well as monitoring the progress of the applications for government funding I'll also test a number of new online marketing ideas I've had in recent weeks and document in this column, their effectiveness in relation to traffic on the jet engine site and sales generated.

Awards Time
Yes, it's time for Aardvark's infamous annual readers'-choice awards.

Given that almost every Net-related publication runs annual awards these days, I'm looking for ideas as to how I can make the Aardvark Awards even more distinctive and worthwhile.

I'm completely open to suggestion on this one. Tell me what needs to be done to make the Aardvark Awards the very best on the Web.

Get in quick, I'd like to start soliciting nominations and votes from Monday of next week.

Aardvark Weekly, Have You Got Yours?
The next issue of Aardvark Weekly (Issue 2) is due out Friday evening.

If you want to subscribe, just drop me a note and I'll put you on the list.

As always, your feedback is welcomed and...

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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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