Friday, August 22, 2008

ArcelorMittal: Virtual Stocks

Due to family issues I've not been poking around Second Life for quite some time now, and it's been a while since I've seen interesting reports and blogs on new companies entering the world of Second Life. Although I've not immersed myself for several months now, I did keep a close tap on several noteworthy blogs through my feedreader, and didn't see any new (noteworthy) companies entering Second Life.

We all know companies aren't as eager to enter Second Life as they once were (over a year ago), but every once in a while one does enter, and this time it's the worlds' largest Steel company:

"ArcelorMittal is the largest steel company in the world, with 310,000 employees in more than 60 countries. It has led the consolidation of the world steel industry and today ranks as the only truly global steelmaker. The company was founded in 2006 when Arcelor and Mittal Steel merged. It ranked at 39th position in Fortune Global 500 companies list. The company is headquartered in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg, the former seat of Arcelor."


Somehow you don't see a steelcompany to be a hip, Web 2.0 ready company, but Arcelor is doing the social Jive. In 2007 it launched its own Web TV, and inaugurated their virtual presence on June 17 this year. Here is the account from the ArcelorMittal blog:

"On June 17, ArcelorMittal held its annual Individual Shareholder Event. Whether in Japan, Russia or Europe, shareholders were able to listen in, ask questions
and access information - all in real time - as they were transported into a virtual ArcelorMittal world!

15 ArcelorMittal shareholders arrived at the snazzy lounge set-up at Luxembourg headquarters as Lakshmi Mittal, our
Chairman and CEO, hosted ArcelorMittal’s 2008 Individual Shareholder meeting. Another 60 existing and potential shareholders joined the event via Second Life – a virtual meeting centre which enables you to create your own character by choosing your physical features and your virtual name.

Another great advantage for shareholders was the possibility to consult the Company’s different publications (Activity Report, Fact Book, Sustainability Report, etc.) in one direct click from the meeting centre.

After a brief presentation by Julien Onillon, VP Investor Relations, outlining the Group’s growth targets and ambitions, shareholders were invited to put their questions to Mr Mittal via instant message. My favourite one? How do you make steel?!"

I haven't visited the facility yet, so I can't really show much more than a YouTube video of the meeting, but I think I'll peek in to see what they've actually built.

Here's a number of links to press coverage of this event:

So what do we do now ?

The question is, did it work out, and what will ArcelorMittal do with their Second Life presence in the future? I don't know yet, here's a quote from a sceptic blog:

Just read in MINT newspaper that Arcelor Mittal had organised shareholder meeting in Second Life, the popular online virtual world.

The result?? Well, the results were not even close to good, atleast that's what the newspaper reported. for this 90-minute long event around 50 avatars turened up. The event was confused and uncertain. The residents were puzzledabout what are they suppose to do. They kept asking so, what do we do now?

As for as the company is concerned they realized that it is difficult to find investors, especially on such sites!

So, What do we do now?? :)

Well, I'm for one am going to enjoy my last day of the summer holidays and seek out to visit the Arcelor site in Second Life in the near future.


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