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As banks and financial services firms continue to fail, one has to ask who was heading the shop and how did they drop the ball. A lot of people agree that we need to pay closer attention to Wall Street from now on. ExecDex is a new social media monitoring and reputation management system, graphically illustrating both public and media perceptions of the top executives of Fortune 500 companies, including key Wall Street financial firms and execs.

Rankings are based on coverage in the mainstream media and blogs. "It’s essentially a perception or combination of buzz and tone of coverage," says Jeff Catlin, CEO of Lexalytics, Inc., the text analytics and sentiment analysis technologies company behind the product. "What do people like or dislike about this individual and is there a lot of it? If you’re getting no news, that’s not particularly great either. A lot of visibility should come through the CEO."

Executives are graphically represented by ranking and news story volume. Catlin emphasizes that it’s a medium for analyzing what’s being written about the company versus what’s being written about the executive. One telling comparison is matching up stock prices with coverage.

People aren’t just concerned about leaders in financial sector. For instance, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple, who has dropped from number 2 to 99 in the rankings this past week. In his profile, a graphic represents that Apple’s stock has dropped significantly since Friday. Now given the current economic climate, this is to be expected. But the drop also coincides with the news that Jobs possibly had a heart attack, and many insiders and tech critics are wondering (and worrying) about the fate of the Silicon Valley corporation without him.

Catlin expects that the people who will find the service interesting are in marketing, public relations or employees of the business sector tracking particular industries and companies. He concludes that its not just about finding macro trends in the media, but looking at what sorts of stories are being picked up and drilling into that information.