Walter Akana has a great post today on Building Community for Career Success. He makes the point that opportunities come from people who trust you and trust is fostered in communities. So start focusing on community-building (both online, through places like Twitter, and offline with local groups that interest you.)
Where does networking come in? Networking is a tool to build communities. It's what I profess in A Bigger Voice. Whereas networking is a 1:1 connection, communities foster a many:many connection.
Twitter is not only a place to be a part of a community, it's a research tool. Recently, Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) asked on Twitter what things are increasing, going up, in a recesssion. Want to know the answer? On Twitter, search on a hashtag (a Twitter identifier of messages around a single theme) of #recession. You'll see the collective wisdom on where the money is flowing to these days. (It's also interesting to see what people focus on--the glass half full or half empty.) If you think the pie is getting smaller, it's not true. (Especially given that Obama is signing a stimulus package of nearly $800B today.) Change your lens from where you expected the money to be a year ago, to this new place.
BTW--If you are a solopreneur, pay attention. Part of the competitive advantage of working for yourself is being adaptable and nimble to what's happening in the marketplace. My mantra these days is reinvent to be relevant. A post for another day....