5. The internet crushed the walls of isolation
It used to be that if you felt particularly weird in some manner or had feelings, thoughts, or habits that seem just so crazy you could never ever admit it to anyone, you just kept that to yourself.
Then the internet came along, and with it a bazillion of online communities, and all of a sudden you could actually find people who have the same exact tendencies like you. Chances are you’ve had such an experience at least once, when you see someone confessing something in an online community that described you almost perfectly but could never admit before. All of a sudden you’re not that crazy anymore!
I bet that millions upon millions such little walls have been crushed thanks to the existence of these global online communities, and that had to have an impact on geekdom as well.
For one thing geeks could connect globally with each other into these massive communities even if they had nobody like them in their local community. This empowered them just as it empowered many other “fringe” groups, but it empowered them especially because the internet itself, this thing that brought them together, was a part of what they’re so passionate about, which set them on a path to dominate it with their businesses.
Secondly, just the mere fact that walls were brought down probably resulted in a generally more accepting attitude among people in general. If you saw strange things being treated as acceptable for multitude of times you probably slowly begin to think that those other people whom you typically considered crazy and perhaps even feared a little, might not be so bad or crazy after all.