Mark & Mary Devlin

Mark & Mary Devlin44 posts

Mark and Mary Devlin are media entrepreneurs. After studying engineering in Scotland, they moved to Japan in 1989. In 1993 they started handing out a four-page classified ads sheet on Tokyo streets. Over 14 years that sheet grew into Metropolis, Japan’s No 1 English Magazine. In 2000 they founded, the No. 1 news and discussion site about Japan in English. In 2007 Mark & Mary sold their businesses and moved to the United States where they opened Kroaky’s, a private karaoke room business. In 2014 they launched Newslines, an innovative news timeline site, which was followed by NewsBlocks, a blockchain-based marketplace for news data. In June 2020 they launched The Majority to fight back against Nationalism in Scotland. They have two children and live in Glasgow.

3 Sep, 2018

The National Interview


Mark is interviewed by The National, a daily newspaper in Scotland.

Our aim is to summarise all of the world’s news – past to present. We distribute our news through partners, such as social media fan pages and share advertising revenues with the page owners. People can sign up to be the next set of contributors. They tell us what they are interested in and we help them produce a timeline along the way. Anyone can come in for free and read the timeline or edit it…Facebook used to do a lot of news but now its model has changed where do people go for unbiased news? People can get a left-wing view in the Guardian and a right-wing view if they read the Telegraph but where is the unbiased reference point?

26 Sep, 2012

Sarasota Patch interview


Mark is interviewed about WeCheck. describing how the idea came to him when he annotated an editorial by Nicolas Kristof in the New York Times. The site is an online version of that manual process, allowing users to tag speeches and articles for common logical fallacies, and so dig deeper into the truth of political statements.

At first I wasn’t thinking ‘fact checking,’ I just wanted to find out whether it was true or not…I have good faith in the people. There’s enough people out there that are out to find the truth than for the political aspect.

14 May, 2006

Newsweek article


Crisscross Social Network is featured in Newsweek magazine. Mark:

The problem with the expat markets is how you get beyond them. Where do you go?

11 Dec, 2002

Business a.m interview


MarkMaryDevlinMonoIn an interview titled Big in Japan, with the Scottish newspaper Business a.m. Mark & Mary talk about the renaming of Tokyo Classified to Metropolis, how the bust affected Japan Today and their relationship with Scotland. Mark:

I look up Scottish property websites about once every two weeks and I have a little dream of buying something there…But this place [Tokyo] has a real energy. The last time I returned to Tokyo after a holiday in Scotland I was so happy to be back. Even in that short time, Tokyo had changed. I took a walk down the street and it seemed like new buildings had gone up. Scotland’s a great place but there’s a real energy here. And we’ve still got a bit of work to do.


Asahi Evening News interview


In an interview with the Asahi Evening News, Mark & Mary talk about the magazine:

If you’ve just arrived in Tokyo, you can use the classifieds to find a house, to go places and meet people. You couldn’t do that before.

On the difficulty of selling ads in Japan:

Before we published the first issue, Mary went around trying to sell ads to Japanese companies. We had a bit of a problem because many Japanese companies didn’t know what a classified ad was.

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