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I noticed quite frequently already, that answers that I consider very good and where I (or others) have put in a lot of effort and research are not (only) rewarded by upvotes by their quality but by a far more important factor: question popularity.

One of my answers with the most upvotes was on a question with 23k views. While I did research and think the answer is good, I feel that I have given better answers already with significantly fewer upvotes.

Not only when a question is closed people do not open (and vote on) a question, but also for example when the question is about an opening many people don't play. Sometimes, people read and even modify questions and answers without voting at all, even if the answers or questions are good, constructive, or helpful. Why is that? Am I "too generous" with giving upvotes to each answer I consider to contain new, constructive, and helpful material?

I feel that there is a massive disproportion of upvotes on answers to popular questions vs. quality answers to less popular questions. This is an incentive to amplify this effect, at it might not be considered worthwhile to open and answer a question that is expected not to be viewed frequently enough.

Is this a problem for this Stack Exchange - and would some questions get (more) answers if people were "more generous" with upvotes on good answers to "unpopular" questions ?

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Yes, this is one of the problems with Hot Network Questions. There has been a lot of input from the community throughout the years, e.g. the answers to Revisiting the "Hot Network Questions" feature, what are our shared goals for having it? and some improvement has been made: Updating the Hot Network Questions List - now with a bit more network and a little less "hotness"!

I forgot whether and where I mentioned this, but one thing the Hot Network Questions list does is to enable newer users to catch up in reputation with users who have been around since the beginning, when you could ask 'simple' questions and post 'simple' answers which due to their age (and perhaps because they appeal to a larger public) have received (arguably) disproportionately many upvotes.

Is this a problem for this Stack Exchange - and would some questions get (more) answers if people were "more generous" with upvotes on good answers to "unpopular" questions?

I doubt it. Yes, I'm mildly addicted to the reputation gain, but the reason for me to write answers is to share knowledge. Otherwise, why would we post answers on per-site metas, like here? Over the years, I've accepted some of my answers get less votes than they deserve, and others will get more. In the end, it will all even out.

A little analogy to conclude: there must be a lot of artists whose most popular works are not the ones they value themselves the most, or which took the most effort to produce.

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    I like the analogy. It is very true, and it even happened very frequently. It is no wonder it happens to me. Think of all the works artists wanted to be burned after their deaths and that got published posthumously anyhow and people loved it. I remember learning that Schubert was irritated that the work he considered his best wasn't his best received at the time by his audience.
    – Hauptideal
    Feb 2, 2023 at 0:02

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