You sign into IRC and join your alliances' private channel. You see the few regulars left idling, you try to engage them in conversation, but they offer no reply.
The channel is dead.
You join the public channel, searching for signs of life. You see the same regulars, with a few foreign dignitaries who hadn't gotten around to removing the channel from their autojoin script. You try to engage people here, too, but the only response is a few people leaving the channel, reminded of its existence.
This channel too, is dead.
You give up, the stagnation is too much to bear, and view the alliance forums. The last post on the forums was 3 weeks ago, asking if anybody was out there.
The alliance is dead.
For many alliances this is not only the future, but the present. Once great alliances are falling season-long falls. Where there seemed hope, there is now desperation. The extinction rate of alliances appears to have had a significant uptick this year, with no signs of it decreasing in the near future. While the above does not apply to everyone, of course, to those it does: Before your alliance goes down, taking you with it, wouldn't you like a different perspective, a new alliance? There is no need to delete or go inactive, without at least trying a different one.
What GOONS offers:
There are bigger alliances than GOONS, there are alliances growing faster than GOONS, but we have a lot more potential than the average alliance. The alliance is due for an enormous expansion, especially with the posting of a new SA thread. I don't have any illusions that we'll get sanctioned overnight, but I do see it in our future. The foundation is there, and our community has reached the critical mass: where we easily get more members per day passively than we lose. An extremely difficult point for many alliances to reach.
We will be in all major conflicts in the future, and we will win. We have picked our allies well, they are both our good friends, and military powerhouses. Our own forces are extremely active. We might not have the highest number of large nations, but we are extremely active, and our update rushes are legendary. You can always be sure of a big turnout on war night, and a big payout upon completion of the war.
The community is strong. At time of writing there are 45 members in our private channel. There are always people willing to talk about your cat, your bad day at work, how great tech raiding is, or other topics. The forums are active as ever and full of discussion, some of it legible. The community is centered around common themes such as: intelligent humor, ironically terrible jokes, and the tears of our enemies. Our culture has unarguably been one of the most influential ones in the game, even after the demise of the old GOONS. Whether you've realized it or not, you've been influenced by it. Try it directly, you might just find you fit in perfectly.
A change in perspective
Some say we are evil. I regret to say these rumors are true. We hate everything you stand for, I'm sorry. Seriously though, we have a far different outlook from the bleeding hearts decrying the rights of unaligned nations. We declare tech raiding to be a fun, honest pastime. We respect the rights of the raider, so long as they follow our rules to the letter. Nobody likes tech raiding incidents, after all.
With our new constitution we have lifted the requirement of an SA account. This opens the way for interested non-goons to enter the alliance. It is a complete change to the usual experience, that I am sure many people would enjoy, were they to try it.