AWS Public Sector Blog

Spreading good and sharing content globally, quickly, and securely with the cloud

This is a guest post from the Goodnet Team.

Goodnet is an organization that connects people around the world with stories about doing good and spreading positivity. The team created and manages the Goodnet online hub to promote written and video content focused on making the world a better place. Since businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison, initiator of “Good Deeds Day,” founded Goodnet in 2011, the Goodnet team has looked around the world to find and amplify the various ways the global community is doing good. Goodnet produces content that highlights sustainability, volunteering, charity work, green tech, mindful living, spirituality, self-awareness, and more. Their mission is to share the good things happening globally, to foster a vibrant and engaging social media and reader community committed to helping spread positivity.

Goodnet believes that, as Shari puts it, “a critical mass of people who want good, think good, speak good, and do good can generate positive transformation worldwide.”

Distributing content to a global audience

Goodnet first started using Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2010 following a recommendation from a friend and nonprofit community member. Before migrating to AWS, all of our applications were hosted on premise (onsite). The applications were running in small, outdated server farms.

We were thrilled to have found a strong cloud provider with such a wide range of services, all in one place. The pay-as-you-go pricing model along with AWS’ support, documentation, and migration services supported our team to rapidly move all our applications from on premise to the cloud. AWS provides Goodnet with affordable and fast ways to innovate, distribute content, and amplify goodness to a growing global audience.

AWS allows our organization to disseminate our video and written content to audiences all over the world. We have 800,000 website views monthly with over 400,000 Facebook followers from dozens of different countries. Specifically, Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network (CDN), supports the delivery of our online articles, newsletters, and videos. It helps us distribute our content to our community of viewers and readers quickly and safely, no matter where they are in the world. For example, using Amazon CloudFront, we can share the barefoot boy who danced his way to a prestigious scholarship, the #FAMING social media challenge that is spreading good vibes, as well as the high school teen who invented color-changing sutures to help fight infections.

Goodnet publishes an average of two articles daily, totaling over 50 pieces of content a month. It is critical that our website runs smoothly and that Goodnet’s visitors can access this constantly changing content securely and without long loading times. To help us do this, Amazon CloudFront makes sure that connections are encrypted as we distribute our content. We encrypt our files in transit by configuring Amazon CloudFront to require that our viewers use HTTPS to request the content. We also rely on Amazon CloudFront to protect us from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and we are in the process of exploring the use of AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) for additional protection against more complex attacks.

Not only does Amazon CloudFront provide us this necessary security, it also helps us deliver low latency content to our end users. When a user requests content that we’re serving with Amazon CloudFront, their request is routed to the edge location that provides the lowest time delay. This helps make sure that our content is delivered with the best possible performance. We believe that AWS has provided us with at least 50 percent faster delivery than when we operated on premise. Now we can more quickly distribute information to our international audiences that helps us achieve our mission of promoting good.

Lessons learned and advice for other nonprofits

We plan to keep growing on AWS, as we produce more content and foster a larger community of readers. For other nonprofits looking to move to AWS or grow on AWS, we encourage you to leverage the no cost resources that AWS provides that can help you optimize your time, money, and technical resources. Thanks to these types of resources, Goodnet significantly optimized our cloud configuration to save us money and improve the overall security of our applications.

Nonprofits and NGOs around the world are increasing their impact with AWS. AWS offers multiple programs for nonprofits to get started on the cloud, including the AWS Nonprofit Credit Program, which helps organizations offset the costs of implementing cloud-based solutions. Apply for the AWS Nonprofit Credit Program to start your journey with AWS.

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Team Goodnet

Team Goodnet

Shari Arison, owner of the Arison Group, is committed to being a catalyst for bringing about positive change in the world: among people, society, the community, businesses and the planet alike. She founded in 2011 as a digital gateway to inspire people to do good, and is committed to showing that positive change is possible in all aspects of life.

Jamin Gluck

Jamin Gluck

Jamin Gluck is a senior global program manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS) with a passion for using technology to make the world a better place.