Yes; you are right. But it's only true with some questions; the recognizable spawn of popular / major franchises can overcome this effect, making it hard to see.
I have to agree with you. It's a bit difficult to see in some cases, but it's something I've noticed as well.
I suspect it has to do with the obscurity of the specific question -- ask a question that has an element that people recognize, and you will have many views, even once it's answered, as people are interested in seeing how someone answered something they feel they know a lot about. More views means more chances to vote. The more of an opinion they have about the subject, the more likely they are to vote. Star Wars is a good example. As is Harry Potter. Or almost any major franchise.
Ask a question, however, that has little recognizable detail in the title and, once it's answered, unless it is very intriguing sounding, a lot of people won't bother to look at it.
I've answered a number like that.
- This Pier's Anthony one, for example -- in 5 months, it's had 94 views, 3 upvotes to the question and 2 to my accepted answer. The title "Looking for a story with water/earth/fire as rock/paper/scissors" just doesn't draw people in, unless, like me, they recognized a probable source.
- Then there is this question that Tango asked; 2 years old now, with 491 views, but only 3 up-votes on the accepted answer. The subject? "Why Was Edgar Rice Burroughs' Style So Poor in “John Carter and the Giant of Mars?” -- a good question, but a very niche area of interest.
Again, in each case, there just wasn't a lot to draw the average person in -- mostly (and I recognize that this is NOT true of many of the regulars here), the less serious visitors are interested several things:
- Things they know about and can answer
- Things that peak their interest from the Title
- Things that are related to a Tag that is of interest to them
- Their own questions
When you get outside of that range, there is a lot less viewing, less emotional involvement with any of the answers when they DO read them, and less of an inclination to bother to vote.
Contrast those with:
- A HHGTTG question, that anyone could recognize from the title (2 years old but 4.5k views and 80 up-votes to my accepted answer. And STILL getting me an occasional +10 various days as someone goes looking for HHGTTG.)
- Then there is THIS question; Tango and I came up with it in chat, as an experiment on getting downvotes. It backfired. (2 years old, 3.6k views, and 36 upvotes.) It's about JarJar Binks; we assumed it would instantly get downvotes.. Should have known better -- everyone has an opinion on Star Wars, especially the films, so it got lots of views in a hurry. (I'm still embarrassed whenever I get points from this one.)
- Or this Star Wars question. (2 years old. 6.4k views. 51 up-votes on the accepted answer.) Again -- Star wars, as was clearly evident from the tags and title.. everyone knows something about it, so it got a lot of views.
Each of these, like the previous (low-vote) examples, was a first answer, and the accepted answer.
[Edit] Richard's comment above fits with this perfectly; " My top post is about Hogwarts students shagging. I guess eventually you just have to throw your hands in the air and say "what the hell?"" -- Harry Potter (Major Franchise) + Sex (everyone feels themselves to be at least knowledgeable) == Profit! (well, Rep, anyway.)
I think providing a quick and accepted answer isn't necessarily poison with regards to getting votes.. But with less known/broad topics, an open question is just more interesting, as there is a possibly you may answer it. Something you don't know about, and is already answered? To many, if not most, it becomes a 'Why Bother?'
(Again, I must stress -- for those who have been here for a long time, much of what I'm saying is not true... But the vast volume of views and votes isn't coming from us.)