There are many small one man businesses in my niche who have their own websites, and their customers will need to pass a particular government test.
One of my sites is focussed on offering practice tests for a smallish sum in flash format using the official government questions which I am licenced to reproduce.
From time to time I send out a batch of emails asking some of these one man businesses to link to me (reciprocal). Linking to me is a genuine resource for their customers. I get a reasonable number who are willing to do so.
I'm thinking about a way of getting more links. I could offer them a "cut down" version of the test that they could put on their site like a gadget. It would be in swf format dimensions around 180x350 pixels.
It does sound like a not bad idea. One other option is to provide the website with code to paste into their pages. The code you provide contains the embedded flash object and a text link to you. Its up to you if you want to restrict the websites ability to remove this link.
From a ranking benefit, #2 is clearly the best. If you do that though, have a conversation with each of them first, don't just cookie-cutter the links. Get an individualized link from each site.
I used to have a competitor to a calculator service I offered. He required a 'powered by' link from each of his clients. I didn't. Years ago he temporarily ranked for some very nice terms as a result of all those links, but no more.
In other words, treat the scaled down gadget as a tool for negotiating links, not a standardized version.
The other thought I have is, if you do tests, could you create a full practice test? That might be of more interest to your associates to publish.