There is a Facebook equation that most people will never need to know or pay attention to until it becomes a problem for them like it did for me this week.

Number of friends + Number of Fan Pages you are a fan of = Must be less then 5,000 total

Now, I never thought I'd have to worry about this equation. I had seen people like Robert Scoble and Jeff Pulver openly complain about this in the past and I didn't get it. But, now I do. I really do, and I'm not liking it.

I am an open connector on Facebook as well as most other sites. I have a lot of people who want to connect with me because they listen to my podcasts, like my photos, have seen me speak or just because we share a lot of similar buddies. But, the problem is that I can't add anyone more on Facebook right now.

I set up the C.C. Chapman Fan Page months ago, but never really did much with it. The word "fan" is a strange one to me, so it feels very weird to use that page in the way Facebook intended it. But, now I almost have to send people there rather then to my profile unless we are truly Friends or have more then just a passing connection.

But, where do I draw that line without hurting anyone's feelings? It is a sucky thing based on a number that Facebook has set and doesn't seem to want to change. I certainly don't have 5,000 close Friends, but I do have a community of people that I like to stay in contact with and right now Facebook allows me to do that better then most.

I'm doing my best to figure it out right now. Earlier today I openly said that I wished Facebook would require some message along with each friend request so I can actually know who someone is. I always look at our mutual friends and a person's profile to get information, but sometimes I just don't know who they are and have to hit ignore now and I hate that. In the past I'd accept almost any request and then start getting to know them through their Facebook postings.

I also went through and "un-fanned" (is that a word?) a bunch of pages that at some point I had joined, but didn't make the cut for one reason or another. Now I've got to be really selective on what I become a fan of. Show me where that makes sense to Facebook?

It is obvious to me that I have to use my fan page more now. But, I refuse to use it in the shilling nature that it instantly gives me in my stomach as I type this out. I want it to remain personable and ME or else why do it? So please bear with me while I figure this all out and try to find a nice balance that works for me and for you.

Facebook makes the rules and I get that, but I don't understand this one at all. Then again I never was much of a fan of math. *grin*