Each issue, "Our Times" asks a panel of editors to comment on a particular question or topic designed to gain perspective on the world of networking today. For this issue, given its focus on communication, we posed this question to a panel of four editors: "What is the essence of communication?" Here's what they said.

The Greatest Gift You Can Give
By Peggy Long
To Understand and To Be Understood
By John McCabe
To Make In Common
By Jackie Ulmer
Establish an Emotional Connection
By Steve Siebold