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The faq is inconclusive about this, and trying to search this question on meta doesn't give any results (although Im sure within seconds people will have found the dupe) ;^)

To summarize: Say there is a question with 10 upvotes, and another one with 0 upvotes. Should answering (and getting accepted) the one with the upvotes be rewarded more?

It seems fair that if people upvote the question, they signal that they also don't know the solution and are interested in the answer. So basically the worth of the question grows.

Questions without upvotes, might very well be niche questions only the OP is interested in.

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No, it shouldn't. Next one. –  Ladybug Killer Apr 10 '10 at 13:15
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It seems fair that if people upvote the question, they signal that they also don't know the solution and are interested in the answer.

If a question is upvoted, it means that people thought the question was well-written and/or interesting. It has no relationship whatsoever to whether or not they know the answer.

I've upvoted several questions that I've also answered. I've downvoted or voted to close one or two questions that I've answered. I've even upvoted several questions that I probably could answer but just didn't have the time/patience to dig into. If it's a good question, it deserves the vote regardless of how many answers it has.

Questions without upvotes, might very well be niche questions only the OP is interested in.

Or they could simply be technically challenging questions that the majority of users couldn't be bothered to read/understand in full, and people only upvote questions/answers that they understand.

On the other hand, heavily-upvoted questions tend to be of the bikeshed/subjective variety, such as this one on the front page now: Why open source it? And how to get real involvement? The question's mostly rambling about bugs in some open-source JS library, it's barely even a real question and already has 3 close votes (I'm debating whether or not to make it 4). No offense to KR, but does the top answer - which basically says "yeah, every project should be open source!" and is likely to also become the accepted answer - really become a better answer because 6 people upvoted the question?

Should the accepted answer to this frivolous interview question be worth extra because of the question votes? Is this solving a useful problem?

Your so-called "niche questions" are what Stack Overflow is all about. Being able to ask almost any question and get a decent answer. If you're interested in answers to very popular questions then you don't need SO, you can find your answers with Google. I'm not against them being asked on SO, but I'm certainly against them being favoured more than they already are.

Heavily-upvoted questions already attract a lot of answers. What we need, if anything, is a way to attract more attention to the less popular questions, and - what's that you say? We already have a bounty system? Oh, never mind then.

If you have a great question that doesn't have a good answer, you can start a bounty, paid for with the rep you accrued from having such a great question. I'm 100% opposed to any initiative designed to attract more attention to questions that are already popular; they're already too much of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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I don't see why we should make a difference. All questions are and should be worth the same.

Plus, this would only push people to upvote each question they answer to.

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No it should not. When people upvote a question it signifies they think it is a good question, not that they don't know it. The answer accepted should have nothing to do with what people think of the question, especially since the accepted answer may be wrong. The answer should get more points by people looking at it an up voting it. That way they get to decide if the accepted answer is the one they like.

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if they would know it, they would answer it. –  Toad Apr 10 '10 at 13:24
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@reinier: Sure, unless it is already suffiently answered. Also, I often find myself upvoting a well phrased/documented question, even if I do not care about the answer. –  Jørn Schou-Rode Apr 10 '10 at 13:34
    
There are times to when I could go track down the answer, but I don't have time to give a complete one. If I think the question is good, I'll up vote it and see if someone else provides a solution. –  Kevin Apr 10 '10 at 17:57
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