What is CaféMocha?

CaféMocha is the only website on the Internet where students can inspire creativity into the minds of worldwide friends by publishing their essays, stories, scientific papers, & poetry and then sharing it.

How does voting system work?

Users of CaféMocha can either “Sip it” or “Spit it.” But please don’t Spit It just to be spiteful; give constructive advice in the comments when you spit-it.

Can anyone upload anything?

The simple answer is yes. You can upload anything you are passionate about, whether that is a mathematical proof or a fiction story or a fiction story or a travel account in Denmark. But please don’t spam the website; you are here to publish your work to the public while everyone else is here to read it and be inspired.  Be creative. You have the chance to spread your ideas, knowing that no one is judging you.

Do I have to create an account?

No. You are not required to create an account to view published content on Café Mocha. However, if you want to publish content or comment, you need to create an account.

Can I publish as anonymous? 

Yes. If you want to publish a story or document as anonymous, just press the “Publish story as anonymous” radio button on the publish page.

Why did you decide to call the site, “CafeMocha”?

Well during the enlightenment period of European history, thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and John Locke used to meet up in cafés to discuss secular ideas—ideas that the church would most probably excommunicate and maybe even exile them for discussing. In the secrecy of cafés, enlightened thinkers were able to write books and spread their creative ideas.

I used the principle that a café was used to discuss, publish, and share innovative ideas to derive the “Café” part of CafeMocha’s name.

And a “mocha” beverage is a combination of items—specifically espresso, hot milk, and chocolate. And just as mocha is comprised of a variety of items, so too is CafeMocha’s website comprised of various stories—specifically poetry, research, fiction stories, and essays.

-How did you come up with the idea of CafeMocha and what encouraged you to start it in the first place?

I was inspired to found CafeMocha after a SAT weekend…. Many of my friends sat and memorized terms for this SAT; they by no means enjoyed their time, but studying was more or less required of them. They weren’t learning much in the long term; they were probably going to study for the test, and then forget everything afterwards.

But in reality, people will do their best and most innovative work when they want to—when they are intrinsically motivated, not when working for grades, college admittance, or money. In this sense, schools truly are killing creativity. High school basically shuns them from taking risks and rather teaches them to follow a set formula. People are thus afraid to take risks and be creative.

However, there are still tons of students who love to write poetry, essays, stories, and research, but they have no output to share their stories. Why not make a site that allows students to publish creative works and then share them with the world? That’s exactly what I did.

You say that schools are killing creativity. Why?

In many of my classes, people who love to write poetry are being forced to memorize a list of biological factoids. Then they take a test and then forget the terms right after. And instead of learning how to problem-solve through a physics problem, teachers are currently preaching their students to memorize a formula.

In this manner, schools seem to be producing robots in a factory. And so students aren’t able to truly express themselves with writing and other forms of creativity. This is the work in which people will do their best work and will make the most innovative gains.

Another source of inspiration was Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk:

-What are the features of the site?

Students can visit CafeMocha.org and then publish their creative essays, papers, research, and poetry. Then other users can come and “sip” (or up-vote) their work, “spit” (or down-vote) their work, comment, and give creative criticism for the work.

Professional publishers can also view student’s works and recruit them to publish another work in the future.

Additionally, students can share all their creative works on previously established social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Users can chat and message each other potential edits/variations on all the works though a messaging system.

Students can also invite their friends to CafeMocha though the above social-networks not only to show friends their work, but also to let friends experience the creative works of other worldwide users.

Users can view a “profile page” of each user and see an outline of the stories sipped, spit, commented on, and published.

-What makes CafeMocha unique and different from other social networking sites?

Currently, if I’m a photographer, I can publish my photographs to the social-network Flickr. Similarly, if I’m a musician, I can publish to SoundCloud. But how do I publish writing and poetry to share with the world? Truth is I currently cannot; not efficiently and easily at least.

Blogging has extremely low scope since users have to go to independent pages to view work, and will most probably only go to friends’ blogs. And Tumblr is un-academic and not very compatible with high schools; CafeMocha would be a social-network for more academically oriented works that can be directly incorporated into the curriculum of schools.

CafeMocha is truly the only social-network that is truly aimed at high school students. Just as LinkedIn is for job seekers, CafeMocha is for high school students.

How would you incorporate CafeMocha in to schools?

In the future, I hope to establish CafeMocha as a website that schools can incorporate into their everyday curriculum. In other words, teachers can inspire their students to publish creative school assignments to CafeMocha. Then students in a class can go online to see each other’s works, and read works from students all over the world—it would be a kind of system to publish works and then receive feedback for schools.

What is another possible use of CafeMocha, in addition to incorporating it into the curriculum of schools and using it as a source where students can publish their creative content?

Well, right now, there are tons of people in book clubs and writing clubs who have no means of communicating their commentary, writing, and essays well. And as a result, they nowadays share all their works though email. This is highly inefficient and doesn’t allow for editing or for people outside the group to see the essays. CafeMocha would give these people a simple and easy-to-use portal where they can share their essays/writings with each other, share them on social-network, and let students see the works as well.

Where can I find Rajat Bhageria—the founder of CafeMocha?

 You can find him here:

Where else can I find CafeMocha?

You can find us here:

How can I contact CafeMocha.org?

You can go to the “Contact Us” form in the footer of our website (or by clicking the link in this answer). Or you can email Rajat at rajat1996@cafemocha.org.

-What have been the responses of classmates, teachers, peers, etc. regarding CafeMocha?

I receive everyday emails not only by professionals but also by teachers and students that CafeMocha is a great idea and that they will tell their friends about the idea.

Already many of my teachers are motivating their students to publish their history research papers or creative stories to CafeMocha, and there is widespread positive commentary. Additionally, hundreds of users around the globe (literally) have published their work into “Mochas” (or categories) spanning from poetry to non-fiction to chemistry.

Classmates (at Sycamore and Penn) are continually publishing their works to CafeMocha, and sharing their CafeMocha story on Twitter, Facebook, and other social-media websites.

-How has the website grown/changed since you created it?

Everyday I receive feedback not only from my peers but also from users on the website. And as such, I continuously had a feedback loop. As users gave feedback, I continuously implemented the feedback and improved the functioning of the website. For example, after a user informed me that he wanted to only publish a document and not a story (i.e. words in a textbox), I managed the creation of a second “Publish” page called “Published a Document” in addition to the already existing “Publish a Story.” There have been dozens of changes and improvements similar to this one.

Of course, as I devoted more time to search engine optimization, social-media marketing, and marketing in general, the number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, users on the website, page views per month, and unique visitors all skyrocketed. In other words, the publicity increased internationally.

Has CafeMocha ever released a press release?

Yes! CafeMocha’s press release can be found in Rajat’s CafeMocha blog. Here is a link.

Does CafeMocha have a promotional video?

CafeMocha’s video can be found on YouTube or Vimeo (click for links)

Does CafeMocha have a blog?

Yes. Here is a link to CafeMocha’s blog.

Who writes the CafeMocha blog?

CafeMocha’s blog is currently written by Rajat Bhageria—the founder and CEO of CafeMocha.org

When was CafeMocha founded?

I thought of the idea for CafeMocha as a 17-year old junior in high school (in early 2013), and started developing, designing, and optimizing the website late in 2013.

How did you go about starting CafeMocha and marketing it?

After building the website, the first step was search engine optimization (both on page, off page, and social bookmarking). Afterwards, I made a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDIabA4XIH8) to help drive further traffic.

Simultaneously, social media marketing was a major component; I continuously answered questions on Quora and Yahoo Answers, and made Facebook and Twitter posts.

And continuously, I am writing more and more blog posts to not only establish an Internet authority, but also to help spread the word about CafeMocha.

This summer, I am writing a couple of eBooks to further drive traffic.

Most of the current visitors are people came to CafeMocha through these methods. But again, everyday I am actively learning new methods.

What have you learned from CafeMocha?

Quite honestly, that one person really can make a difference. The great thing about projects like CafeMocha is that there really are no limitations: there is always room for improvement, whether that means writing better blog posts, adding a more powerful document-upload feature, or reading more about entrepreneurship in general. I’m truly able to do something that truly may one-day change the world. That sense is the most rewarding experience I have undergone.

Also, I just want to thank you for agreeing to write a story for CafeMocha. Currently, CafeMocha is an extremely recent startup and your story could be incredibly helpful in establishing the website as the standard for high schools to use on an everyday basis. I am incredibly thankful.

Note: these FAQ’s were answered by Rajat Bhageria. This page was last updated on June 10, 2014.