The one-time consumer-driven media site Odeo has gone corporate. Used to be that users could record and publish podcasts at the site, even export them to iTunes. Then Odeo disappeared for a long, long time. All of the podcast episodes my class recorded and syndicated through iTunes were suddenly gone. Poof. No explanation except a really bad message about Odeo undergoing changes. No help to move content to a different service.

Today, I checked back with Odeo, as I do from time to time, just to see if it changed the tacky under-construction message. It had. Now the site looks all shiny and professional. Sharp. Is this what Odeo and Twitter founder Evan Williams is going to do now that he has stepped down at Twitter? Anyway, it looks like Odeo is now going to provide corporate video solutions.

There is definitely something going on here–like Ning, Odeo has moved from free to premium–and like Ning, kind of dissed its loyal supporters in the process. I wonder if I can retract all of those nice things I wrote about Odeo in my book? Anyway, I have found another way to host the podcast (loudblog), but now I have to remove the old podcast from iTunes and re-syndicate it with Loudblog. Sigh.

Or maybe the Ya! Cast project has outlived its usefulness. I still get lots of inquiries about it from teachers, but maybe it’s time to move onto something like digital shorts or vodcasts. I’ll keep thinking about this.