On questions that are just questions with literally no apparent effort put in by the OP, I often see several downvotes. (Example here.) Occasionally there is an accompanying comment that the OP should mention what he or she tried as an attempt. Where in the guidelines does it say that a question asker should do this? That's a serious question, not angsty sarcasm. I checked and couldn't find it so I figured maybe I missed it somewhere. If we're going to downvote people for not doing it, I feel it should be stated somewhere in the guidelines that they're expected to provide evidence of an attempt.
On the other hand, I also occasionally see questions with literally no apparent effort that are not downvoted, and sometimes even upvoted. (Example here.)
What is different about those two examples so that the first is downvoted and the second is upvoted? I'm just trying to understand how this site works, because I thought I understood for a while but perhaps I don't.