I live in a medium-sized city. It's similar in size to Novato, CA; Moore, OK; Euless, TX; Bowie, MD; and Chapel Hill, NC. In case that helps any.
It's not the type of town where everyone knows your name, but it does seem like it's a small world- perhaps 3 degrees of separation rather than 6.
My favorite hobby is introducing people to each other. I like to be a resource. In my dream world, I would be able to match every person with their ideal vocation; and fill every staffing need presented by local companies (at least the good ones).
You never know when the people you meet are going to be major players in your life or the life of someone you know. You never know what fascinating stories they have to share, interests you may have in common, or connections they can introduce you to.
Networking is not merely a business tool. It is a way of life. It is meeting the variety of God's creation face-to-face, and helping to build connections between people who matter to you.