I think we all know about the fastest gun problem. My question relates to something similar, but quite different - why do we seemingly reward the fastest answer with votes?
If you look at some of the simple (but valid) questions that get asked, chances are you'll see at least one answer with a fairly large number of upvotes, more than I'd say is appropriate for a simple answers that you'd get for questions of this sort. Examples:
- Why do different browsers render the same HTML differently? (Ignore my answer, and focus on the two that were given 2 min after the question was posted)
- How to move the cursor into a input text box by clicking a label tag?
- Attributes in elements closing tag?
- How to check for uppercase alphabets in an input string, using jQuery (Again, focus on the fastest answer, not the accepted one)
The obvious explanation is that simple questions like these attract lots of people to answer them, and once the first answer gets posted everybody stop and vote on that answer instead. It's certainly not wrong - we are suppose to vote for the correct one after all, but I've always got the feeling (esp. when it's my answer) that somehow I/they don't deserve these much votes for simple answers like this. Of course this partly have to do with the fundamental problem that questions and answers that have more views also gets proportionally higher votes, but it's in these cases that the issue is most obvious.
So, should is it appropriate to give these simple answers our votes? How about the "+1, you beat me to it" mentality? Or am I too stingy with my upvote?
Related to: Fastest Gun in the West Problem