I've always been slightly confused when it comes to giving upvotes to answers on bug/hardware issue questions. I've come up with two different ways of upvoting on them:
- Upvote if the answer provides advice that could be helpful to people in general with this problem, or
- Upvote if the answer helped the person who asked the question solve their problem.
The problem with the former is that when answers are upvoted, the questions are removed from the list of unanswered questions, meaning that we can end up with questions about these problems getting buried with no actual solution to the problem.
The problem with the latter is that it can be very difficult and often fluky to find the solution to the author's problem, and that answers which give great advice for troubleshooting but unfortunately don't end up solving the problem are given no upvotes. This makes it difficult to encourage users to answer hardware questions if they realize there's a high chance they won't be given any recognition for their efforts.
Does anyone have any advice on how to go about upvoting answers in situations like these?