Who Needs New Media? Orlando Entrepreneur Launches "Jail" on Regular Paper


They say you should start a business around things you know. Devin James spent time in jail, and came up with an idea for a newspaper that prints mugshots of people in the local community.

An Orlando entrepreneur has seized on that fascination, recently starting Jail, a weekly newspaper filled with nothing but the unflattering thumbnails. Page after page, with only a few ads in between.

"A mug shot is a couple notches below your driver's license picture," said Devin James, 41, dressed casually in sweat pants, sneakers and a ball cap. "And everyone takes a messed up driver's license picture."

Now if only he would put it online and let people socially network, tag their favorite jailbirds, share and recommend different mugshots, mashup a Google map with mugshots, then he could give it away for free and sell ads on the site! Oh wait, he sells the paper for real money already. I guess sometimes old school business models are still the way to go.

  • Hilarious…and surprisingly clever.

  • Why the cynicism Rob? It does not seem constructive. Are you trying to prove a point and if so which one?

    cyn·i·cism= A scornfully or jadedly negative comment or act

  • Rob

    The cynicism is because people try to add web2.0 functionality to everything, even when it isn’t needed. It’s like entrepreneurs no longer worry about their audience, but assume that everyone wants a social network as a part of everything. All the while, no one is building new web apps that will appeal to the large part of the web community that isn’t super tech oriented.

    See the “sheep” post below.

    Web 2.0 has real uses and possibilities, but, believe or not, there are lots of people that really don’t care about connecting and sharing stuff online – they just want easy tools to make them more productive.

    And of course, it’s funny to point out that someone would start an “old media” business when “new media” is all the hype – and he’s making money while most new media companies aren’t.