Dear Valued Readers,
I write to inform you of an important update: After careful consideration and deep reflection, unfortunately I am officially departing from my role as Founder and Editor-in-Chief of VirtualHumans.org, effective today.
The turn of 2023 marks 4+ years since I took the first step in my journey pouring thousands of hours into documenting, cultivating, and empowering the avatar industry, with a special focus on virtual influencers.
Ever since I first heard about Brud’s Lil Miquela in June 2018, I awoke to a vision that avatars are the next major manifestation of digital pseudonymity. I still stand by this learning.
Later, an opportunity presented itself to co-found a new venture exploring the idea of building a media universe where all the action unfolds on social media, through a digitally intertwined friend group of mission-driven virtual humans.
I quickly became obsessed with the experience of building in, meeting people from, and learning about this new and exciting space.
Along my journey, I came to another important revelation—that any given novel space is objectively underserved and, therefor, presents an opportunity to be improved.
This learning, paired with my growing obsession with avatars as a medium, is what inspired me to leverage my entrepreneurial experiences launching social networks, developing websites, hacking media trends, designing interfaces, and writing, and combine them all to personally build the VirtualHumans.org that you know and love—a free and open resource dedicated to celebrating the creators within this novel, underserved industry.
It’s been a joy to watch how quickly this outlet has grown to become the leading source of information on this topic, with millions of dollars in brand deals flowing into the hands of hundreds of virtual influencer creators along the way.
Though, in 2020, as a result of a consolidation of assets, VirtualHumans.org formally became a part of the company that I co-founded over four years ago: Offbeat Media Group.
Some of you have come to know Offbeat professionally, as the company may have serviced you by building your brand a virtual influencer, connecting you to someone valuable in the space, or perhaps you’ve even become a fan of our very own high-end avatars, like the red-haired Zero from Nexus!
Whatever your familiarity with the Virtual Humans website or your experience engaging with the parent company Offbeat, know that my entrepreneurial journey, insights, and passions differ greatly from when I first started these ventures many years ago, and I must make a life change to match.
My very difficult decision to depart from Virtual Humans only arises in lock-step with, and explicitly as a requirement of, my overarching need to move on from my longstanding position as Co-Founder & CCO of Offbeat Media Group, to now pursue my entrepreneurial passions independently.
I did not take it lightly when accepting the reality that departing from Offbeat Media Group means I will no longer be able to continue my vision for VirtualHumans.org, nor did I take it lightly when weighing the decision to step down from my role at Offbeat.
However—from the Offbeat team’s avatar technology, to their people, to their creativity, I can vouch for this group as being well-equipped to bring virtual influencers to life, a process that I built and trained up within the company with the help of some of the best in the industry, and one that I will now continue to show support for as a formal advisor through the transition of my departure.
I look forward to seeing where Offbeat goes from here as a now-advisor to their mission during this time. VirtualHumans.org will continue on under Offbeat’s watch after my departure. Drop them a message.
I want to thank every virtual influencer artist, writer, or industry leader who answered my calls for collaboration over the years, every journalist, student, producer, or academic who turned it around by calling on me to collaborate, and every investor who has backed the vision.
Whatever I commit myself to next, I will continue to hold creativity, community, privacy, and open access in high regard.
Now, I no longer lead VirtualHumans.org.
Until next time,
Reach me at email@example.com or linkedin.com/in/ctrav or travers.tech