Forecasts and predictions

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From an reading assignment a few weeks ago I will be discussing the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conducting scenario planning (2013). In the consortium the future of newspapers were discussed. Newspaper executives and representatives of various countries developed the scenarios. In the figure below the leading newspaper experts developed a diagram with possible scenarios for the industry.

WAN arrived at two factors establishing a guide for the group’s plan. The forces were technology and social. Consumers drove the factors with multiple choices in gathering information and news. The scenarios were forecast into the year 2020.

WAN predicts 4 outcomes dependent on possible changes in technology as well as the way people choose to react to the news mediums. The survival of newspapers is dependent on the kinds of targeting the individual business choose to take.


Do newspapers try to appeal to the masses? Will other media disrupt the newspaper tradition? It seems that most papers have started to become part of the other media. WAN chooses to call this disruptive media, but most members are now part of that disruption discussed. Wade (2012) tells us that the forces affect the scenario plan. In the case of these newspapers we can see that these forces are historically what caused the rise of the newspaper. Since the mass production of print, newspapers have dominated our opinions as well provided a source for daily information. Withe rise of the web, we have so many choices in how we gather information. This information can be targeted to individuals because of the web technologies that allow personalization of our news. Newspapers appealed to mass audiences. With Television newscasts, many predicted the fall of newspapers. Perhaps readership dropped, but the larger and stronger newspapers survived.

The scenarios are currently being played out, but I believe in this particular case other forces may be in play to disrupt newspapers as they transition to the web environment. Other technologies may rise and pull our information to other venues. In some places politics change the way information is dispersed. Will this cause readers to distrust and leave any semblance of news gathering? We’ve already seen personal freedoms compromised because of the desire for safety and security. Will political forces infringe on freedom of speech in the name of national security?

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Personal Expert System: World Association of Newspapers Scenario Planning. (2013, January 1).

Wade, W., & Wagner, N. (2012). Scenario planning a field guide to the future. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Sociotechnical Planning

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Ropohol (1999) tell us that sociotechnical plans merge complex problems of societies with technology. The example of Henry Ford’s assembly line was used as an example of sociotechnical planning. Ford solved complex issues of employment, worker benefits, plant productivity, and profitability through the use of the automobile assembly line.

In the case of the Hayashi and Baranauskas (2013) study it the use of small laptops in a Brazilian schools in Sao Paulo. The study used the computer as a means for students to work outside the boundaries of normal school time in conjunction with homework assignments. The variables of student engagement were broken into 3 categories of informal, formal, and technical levels. The study hypothesized that student engagement and willingness would increase if students were able to use the technologies available through laptop use to study in school as well as through homework assignments in and out of class.

In the affectability study (Hayashi and Baranauskas, 2013) the authors demonstrated a need for technology in the student’s school program. It was felt that various problems could be solved through the re-defining of homework in and outside of class. Effective use of the laptops allowed students to engage and feel that the work was more relevant to a work flow that was already a part of their normal activates. Even students with behavioral issues became more engaged with the assignments. Various scenarios proved the use of the laptops would have multiple benefits.

The study did not have one goal, but based on the complexities of the student society would attempt to solve most of the issues. It seams that the study knew that it was not going to be a perfect solution, but if most of the goals were achieved, then a successful outcome would occur. Some societal issues arose because of the nature of the surrounding neighborhoods and parental issues. Overall the issues were outweighed by the positive outcomes. The sociotechnical plan was proven as a reliable and desirable problem-solving path. Issues of technology, such as broadband availability will be eventually solved, as Internet solutions become more availability through government infrastructures.

Ropohl, G. (1999, January 1). Society for Philosophy and Technology.

Hayashi, E. S., & Baranauskas, M. C. (2013). Affectability in educational technologies: A socio-technical perspective for design. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 16(1), 57–68.

Scenario Planning Recording Artists

Case Study

Fans of listening to music are demanding that music is available for free (Herstand, 2014). This trend has being growing over the past 10 years. The opening attack came during the mid-2000s. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in response to peer-to-peer music exchanges such as Napster, sued users of the service. Music industry experts reported this trend as an attempt on the RIAA’s part of suing their own customers. Although the lawsuit stopped Napster from having any popularity and driving them out of business, this created on atmosphere of the music industry against the music listeners.

The outcomes of the lawsuit, and changes in listening habits, have resulted in streaming services that provide free music content. Additionally, the rise and eventual dominance of iTunes (n.d.) offers music at a reduced price have facilitated a precept of commercial music as a free service. Padnora and Spotify have premium services offering music at a low monthly payment (Herstand, 2014), but most of the music can be streamed for free with added commercials. Musicians, music writers, and support staffs find a new business paradigm. How do they create music for free, and still provide a living for themselves? Large production budgets as well as multi-gold and platinum selling albums are all but gone.

Planning and Forces

Artists, recording studios, and record labels all have to plan for the new future in commercial music. Recorded music sales can no longer supply the revenue needed to support the wages of the artists and support staff that produces the music. Planning must include technology, social, and economic forces. Each force can dramatically change in the matter of a few years. Typically artists are either self-funded, or on a very small budget to prove themselves quickly as well as find a revenue source.

Currently live music can provide an income. Live music attendance determine the size of revenue, but it is also dependent on technology to solidify the fans to attend concerts and other performances. Social media is essential to the plan. Artists must constantly foster a group of fans willing to attend and financially support performances. Additionally, merchandising becomes important and using current online payment options are constantly improving and changing. Point of service payments have recently allowed conveniences as well as overhead reduction.

Artists and support must maintain a close watch on trending attitudes towards pricing within the live performance and merchandising. Popular and established performers justify large ticket sales and high merchandise pricing, but start-ups must anticipate economic forces associated with perceived value.

The diagram illustrates the process for scenario planning. The driving forces of social in the form of social media, and new technologies such as point of sale systems, help artist reduce costs, as well as increase the audience. After the influence of social and technology, the popularity of the artist, and the overhead of playing in a live performance effect the overall income of the artist.


If artists and support groups allow for the model to guide the future plans artists will be able to accurately predict future growth and revenue. Typically future planning should be charted to show overall trends in income, but if the scenario planning is adhered to, most artists will be able to avoid pitfalls of over reaching as well as predicting when the business is not going to thrive. Unlike other business it is almost impossible to predict popularity. Social trending can rapidly change and the artist can easily ignore the plan and unwisely trust trending as a fact of the future.

Social Impact

Social impact is key to understanding the planing. In music social trends, tastes in music, and something as important as a viral video can all effect the plan and success. Social trends need to be accounted for, and part of the plan, as shown in the illustration. Music is social in nature and part of the uniqueness of the business. Without an accounting of society and it’s impact on music the scenario will be difficult to plan



Herstand, A. (2014, September 8). Fans Aren’t Going To Pay For Music Anymore. And That’s Ok. – Digital Music News.

ITunes. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2015, from

Wade, W., & Wagner, N. (2012). Scenario planning a field guide to the future. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Traditional Forecasting versus Scenario Forecasting

Predicting the future requires knowledge and data gathering for sound decisions and plans. Each business has unique qualities and income potentials. A business plan must contain a prediction of the future so costs and income can be planned. The plan drives the day to day, as well as the overall drive of the business. Without a plan business leaders and owners have no footing to help stay focused on the business, as well as make plans that are sound for growth and innovation. Any business that is successful had a plan and an idea on what the future will bring. Without future predictions business owners are left to luck and chance.

Traditional Forecasting

Traditional forecasting uses a profit and expense basis for designing the future of a business. As stated in Forbes magazine (n.d.) this is the tradition of most businesses. The income levels versus expenditures can predict the trajectory of a business, and if graphed, can project income for the future. This is an easy and well worn plan that has been used for years, and does not take too much effort to create a prediction for the future of a business.

However this plan is fundamentally flawed. Variables of business are changed influenced by various outside influences. Trends and expertise are not drawn from to help the future of business, and the business will likely fail if this is the only basis for future predictions. Traditionally forecasting has limited data and is dependent on past performance.

Scenario Planning

Scenario planning predicts future environments to help understanding of trends. This helps companies adjust to possible future business changes. The analysis is designed around the business type and the variables that can change future views as noted in the Personal expert system blog (2013). In the scenario planning scenario, the blog discusses the future of the newspaper business. This business is threatened by online versions and new business concepts. From the case study we can conclude that variables are identified and can effect future decisions. In the newspaper scenario discussed the expert came up with some “what-if” situations. This planning helps businesses and business leaders have options for future planning.

Predicting future possibilities can be minimized by what we know. But, what if the business is threatened by unseen technology? Who could have predicted the fast rise of something like YouTube (Johnson, 2011)? Scenario planning requires more detail in the data as well as a more complex analysis of the data.


Johnson, S. (2011). Where good ideas come from: The seven patterns of innovation. London: Penguin.

Personal Expert System: World Association of Newspapers Scenario Planning. (2013, January 1).

Traditional Forecasting Leads to Traditional Results…Failure. (n.d.).

3D Printing. New Horizon Report (2014)

In the New Horizon Report (Johnson, Adams, et. al., 2014, pp. 40-41) the 3D printing technology is reported and discussed. Using plastic material in place of ink as a process for printing discovered the technology. These printers are using 3D technologies based on previous ink jet printing capabilities that have been around for quite a while. The 3D printers have been able to print parts for aerospace, help with designs for architecture, and any other modeling. With the advancements trending in the Maker communities, many hobbyists and consumers have begun to explore the possibilities of 3D printing.

3D printers work by constructing a model using a digitized 3D picture (Hsu, 2013). Ceramics, plastic, or metal is used to construct the print one layer at a time and eventually builds up the model. Although 3D printers are easy to build, they are not used to replace manufacturing robotics or assembly lines. The use is primarily for one time construction. Some uses include replication of items that are too fragile to handle. Additionally, items that are used for building prototypes are often used for printing. 3D printing has been around since the mid 1980s, but wide spread use has been observed in the last 5 years.

3d printing has been recently used for many disciplines including art, design, and medical fields. Future trends include replication of human organs using inking materials that match human tissue. Universities have been exploring the possible growth of 3D printing for students of technology. Taking coneept to prototype is one of the strengths of 3D printing (Johnson, Adams, et. al., 2014, pp. 40-41).

3D printers have grown in uses and are now more affordable. Figure 1 shows the Cube 3D printer (3D printing and you., n.d.). This printer costs around $1000. Printers a few years ago were much more expensive. With the current line of printers the molding material is inserted like a print cartridge. This process has a high usability factor because of the similarity of an inkjet printer. Once the material is inserted a 3D software creator reads the layers of the object and creates the final product. Research is predicted to grow in the teaching environment (Johnson, Adams, et. al., 2014, pp. 40-41) because students and instructors can easily and quickly explore possible prototypes in the classroom. Previously, such items usually would be sent to an injection-molding site and turnaround time was days or weeks. Now the classroom creates the project, prints the item, tests, and re-tests if necessary in a matter of hours.

Figure 1. 3D Cube printer.


3D printing and you. (n.d.).

Hsu, B. (2013, May 21). 3D Printing: What a 3D Printer Is and How It Works. Retrieved from

Johnson, L., Adams, Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon report: 2014 Higher education edition,. Austin, Texas: The new media consortium

Unintended Consequences

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Unintended Consequences of the Patient Care Information System

The Patient Care Information System (PCIS) was a system developed to record patient information in hospitals in The Netherlands, Australia, and the U.S. During and study of the application of the system (Ash, Berg and Coiera, 2004) the authors discovered problems within the system. These problems were not noticed because of the nature of the errors. The intention of the system was to reduce errors. PCIS was implemented to keep records accurate and available to the medical community.

The authors noted that the system contained a great deal of development and it was not possible to predict how the system would react to all the complex interactions and problems that would be faced. During the research the authors found that most of the administrators of the system felt the system was highly accurate, but during the study (Ash, Berg and Coiera, 2004) it was found users and administrators actually had a great deal of fear and denial of the lack of accuracy. It was found that a system could be helpful as a way to make forms and computerize routine activities. However, healthcare and the predictions of the course of care were difficult to automate. Patients were found to have unique paths were impossible to code into software. Healthcare professionals found that entering data did not support the qualitative judgments that followed a line of care, and a patient’s best route to health. This confusion created mistakes as users tried to best guess the input desired by the system. The users were aware, but afraid of the possible errors and continued the mistaken paths of recording and assigning healthcare.

The study concluded that the rigidity of the system and the instance of form completion created a system of working within the PCIS system rather than focusing on healthcare. Users were frustrated with the systems inability to be flexible in the data entry. Knowingly the system was no trusted and the final patient healthcare was compromised. The data points entered into the system was long and complicated Users had an effect on patient health accuracy through making entry errors. The system’s intention to automate and help the healthcare system created and atmosphere of computerized data. Before the system was implemented a call was made remove human error from healthcare (Hendee, n.d.). However the results were not was desirable. The PCIS system had the best of intentions, but the outcomes actually compromised the health of many patients and cause concern for PCIS as reliable and helpful method from predicting future processes for individual patients.

Although the system was designed to alleviate errors in healthcare the PCIS actually had the opposite outcome. Due to complicated and long forms, the users of the system were not allowed to accurately evaluate healthcare of human patients. The authors (Ash, Berg and Coiera, 2004) discovered through the study an opposite outcome of patient care. In the end the system became the focus of the healthcare, not the patients. This was not the intention of course, but the unintended outcomes were the opposite of the intended outcomes. The government’s desire to treat patients through technological innovation and support did not take into account the complexities of patient care. Those that treat health issues make many decisions based on observations that currently cannot be part of an automated system. To address the complexities the PCIS ended up being to complicate for users to use and control. The system became the frustration, not the healthcare issues that were supposed to help. The technology ended up getting more in the way, as proposed to solving a real problem.


Ash, J., Berg, M., & Coiera, E. (2004, March 1). Some unintended consequences of information technology in health care: The nature of patient care information system-related rrrors.

Hendee, W. (n.d.). To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, P112-P113.

Music Tech orchestra

Check this out:

Ge Wang is a computer music composer and musician using a open source software program called Chuck Using this software musicians use laptop computers, Chuck software, and ordinary items to express music. Using these ordinary items the music is projected. The Mr. Wang calls this technology meeting humans. The items that vibrate adds an interesting sound to the music that would otherwise be monotonous and boring. In the final musical piece the program generates the sounds and randomness, the laptop facilitates the program and sound output, and some common bowls are the speakers that allow the sounds to be projected. After this is accomplished a mouse type device is used to help control the music volume and space projection. The final performance is created as multiple musicians play their respective laptops and computers with the hand-held device. Mr. Wang shows us how technology can help us create interesting and expressive music.

The end result is a very interesting visual of human with machine. Using the technology of software and a type of gaming device, musicians can use the technological tools to express. A social element is expressed through the movement of the gaming or handheld device. Just like an orchestra, the musicians can interact and express themselves through the manipulation of sound. The sociotechnico sytem is created through a community of musicians programing and generating sounds with laptops, then interacting like an orchestra. Thus the music tech orchestra title and subject.


ChucK = Strongly-timed, On-the-fly Music Programming Language. (n.d.).

Sociotechnical system. (2014, November 1).

Tackett, J. (2015, January 20). Music Tech Orchestra.

Wang, G. (2014, May 1). The DIY orchestra of the future.

Assignment summary

This is the last post of my Dr. school assignment, but not my last post. Let’s visit the YouTube question. How many visitors and when should you give up? I’m sorry to say that the answer is; I don’t know and it’s up to you. I know that seems like a cop out, but let’s take a look at your goals. Is your goal to be an overnight sensation on YouTube? Then you better get your market machine in motion. You need to promote, promote, promote. It hasn’t really changed over the years. The key to success is hard work and work smart. Now if your goal is to cover all your bases and have an electronic presence then get it out there. The only guide that I can recommend is to make sure that what you put out is something you are proud of and won’t have cringing or regrets. For some reason people sense that about us as performers and artists. They zero in on our heart and what we feel. So make sure you will proudly display your art.

To summarize our trip through social media in music, I advise everyone to do everything. Meaning website, YouTube, FaceBook, podcasting,Twitter, crowdfunding, etc. That is a lot to handle and take on, but this is a very competitive market. Look at some of the sources below and read these articles I’ve written. Do the homework! Keep yourself aware of new trends and other up and coming artists. I hope this helps with your career. Good luck and stay tuned to further postings.

Prof. T.