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I answered Does any mouse really have 11 buttons? earlier with what I thought was merely an interesting point but I wanted an image, so I used the answer format instead of the comment format.

Yes, I technically answered the question but I can't believe this has earned me 80 points, and no other answer nor the question itself has earned that.

Is there some phenomena that is gaining me points here, perhaps previous reputation is earning me (IMO unjust) votes?

Or is this actually a better answer than I think it is?

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  • Eight upvotes is not all that much. There are questions with hundreds, sometimes thousands of upvotes (thousands is less likely on SuperUser than StackOverflow, but it could happen). It's a compelling answer, nonetheless. – allquixotic May 15 '14 at 14:53
  • @random I guess this falls back to "Why are some simple questions 'hot'" while other more interesting, or involved question get nothing. I thought it if anything became popular today it would be superuser.com/questions/753556/… – Austin T French May 15 '14 at 14:54
  • @allquixotic Agreed it isn't all that much, I just can't believe that answer is so close to nice answer – Austin T French May 15 '14 at 14:55
  • this is my highest grossing rep answer which IMO isn't that hard of a question nor is really that interesting, but everyone seems to like it. Some posts are just more popular than others. – James Mertz May 15 '14 at 16:01
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From your comment, it seems like your real question is:

Why are some simple questions 'hot' while other more interesting, or involved questions get nothing?

Certain questions just seem to "hit a chord" with the community, by receiving a lot of clicks. A few general observations:

  • Questions which only apply to a few users, and which most people don't care about, tend not to get very many clicks, except by people who either have the same problem, or are trying to help answer the question.

  • Questions which ask stuff that many people are likely "to have wondered about", but they don't know the answer off the top of their heads, tend to get a lot of clicks, a lot of answers, and a lot of upvotes. This is not so much about the simplicity or complexity of the question, but about how many people are familiar with the subject matter in some way.

The question you answered was about mice, so I'm sure lots of people know what a mouse is. If you asked a question about, say, iText or Adobe Acrobat Pro, you'd have a much more niche audience -- people who don't use those tools do not care, so they don't click on it or vote.

Unfortunately, this is how it works. The quality of the question/answer is less important than what people consider to be "interesting" and "relevant to their own edification" in terms of # of clicks.

  • I think you did a phenomenal job de-internalizing my own concerns. So, yes, and thank you. – Austin T French May 15 '14 at 15:13
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My highest rated answer over at Gaming.SE is simply telling someone to try clicking the other button on their mouse. Sometimes simple answers garner the most reputation for their blunt/straight shooting honesty.

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