Recently I answered two questions on SO:
The first is a completely trivial answer to a really basic question (kind of "read the manual and follow the one liner example there").
On the other hand, my second is a much more complicated answer that requires much more specialized knowledge of a very specific domain (happens to be related to my PhD research).
Clearly, the first answer could have been given by many SO users - I just happened to be the first to pick up the glove on this question. However, this is not the case for the second answer.
In contrast, when it comes to reputation - the first answer instantly got upvoted (everyone can relate to a simple question/answer), while the second one - I don't believe it will get much upvotes...
So, life isn't fair: for the one answer that really very few people could provide (the second answer) and is much harder to find and get -- is not rewarded, while the trivial answer is rewarded fast and strong...
How can we amend this? How can we encourage rare and specialized answers for difficult and deep questions?
Do we want SO to turn into a pool of trivial and superficial questions?
Update: Thanks to many meta-users who took the time to read through this question and ponder its implication, both answers I used as examples got exposed far beyond their fair-share.
So, despite the fact that my original claim that the specialized answer get less reps is no longer valid, this does not change fact that in general my claim is stil valid: specialized answers requiring expert knowledge will recieve less attention at first.
Bottom line: (following my wish to have some sort of conclusions to meta discussions).
Indeed it sometimes seems like life isn't fair, but this is only in the short term. In the long run high quality answers do get their proper credit and exposure and their fair share of reputation.
The reputation system of SO works quite well balancing and accounting for many factors and parameters. It would require a really strong argument backed up with serious research to change this mechanism.
Thank you all for the lively discussion and for showing me that life is fair after all.