Horror Vacui

I just read a great article about web design, "The 5×5 secret Rules in Design and Advertising - Part 2: Composition" I know that implies a part one so I'll read it later. Never mind I'll read it now... It was good too... but about that first (second) article...

It refers to "the rule of thirds", "the rule of odds and space", and three more. The article is well worth a read, but what I want to talk about is in the comments.

Martin Celebi refers to the principle of "horror vacui", it sounded interesting so I looked and was very enthralled in what I found out (hence the reason I am telling you).

Horror vacui is the "theory initially proposed by Aristotle stating that nature 'fears' empty space" (Wikipedia). This was originally only a physics principle, but
some artists begin using it in some of their works, filling every space on the canvas with something. This was the exact opposite of minimalism.

This started me thinking about websites. In a Web Site Design class I took once the teacher told us that German sites tended to be very minimalistic while Chinese sites filled every space in the window.

I looked at some of the websites most known to me and noticed a direct connection to their popularity;

Google vs Yahoo: Google came in first with Yahoo in second. Google is
minimal (with only 28 words on their homepage). Yahoo is very horror vacui (with 520 words not including ads).

Apple vs MSN: MSN beat Apple by a long shot, but most likely because MSN is set up to be more like Facebook than a cover page. (MSN.com 817 words) (Apple.com 147).

I much prefer
minimalistic websites (maybe that's why Apple appeals to me), but many of my peers prefer dark, busy gory pictures and pages. Is this a generation difference? A stereotype difference? Where are the stats to determine this? I really want to know.

I wish I had the answers, but I don't (surprise surprise).

If I build a white website with three words, will that appeal to my grandparents, parents, peers, young relatives? I wish I knew.