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I am puzzled by the voting on this question: How to clean a sleeping bag ?

No disrespect to Nate Eldredge, but LBell's answer appears better and more usable-in-real-life.

Am I completely off base on my conclusion? If not, how do we end up with the better answer having less than half the score?

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I think the obvious difference is that Nate's answer was posted 3 days earlier - and no matter what we would like to happen, early answers will gain points faster if they look reasonable.

I don't know what the upvote rate was, and whether that answer got a few upvotes before LBell's was even posted, but even now, a new visitor may see the top upvoted answer and think, "Yes - that works" without even reading the 2nd placed one. I hope they would read further down, but they may not.

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  • +1 within 6 hours of your answer being posted – Justin C Jun 18 '12 at 20:39
  • heh - you did that deliberately :-) – Rory Alsop Jun 18 '12 at 20:40
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Generally the problem you discuss is handled by the user who asked the question accepting the best answer as correct, even if it doesn't have as many votes. I would hope the person who asked the question would read through each answer to find the best one, whether it had the votes or not.

This system runs into a problem with users that don't accept answers often. In that case you can stoop to leaving a comment in the question registering your preferred answer. Not sure if that is kosher but it is what I would do if I felt strongly about someone else's answer being undervalued.

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