We have just launched our community to our initial user area representatives and I received this feedback as a feature request and thought I'd add it here:
Are there any other notification methods other than by email? It would be nice if there was something that would pop up in the task bar rather than getting an email. I imagine there must be something that works like this for IM, but even for following discussions while logged in, rather than needing to keep a window or tab open in IE, this would be a nice feature.
Also it could help to prevent the email "spam" problem. There's nothing worse than being spammed by a social networking service. I know it is possible to set the level of email notification. I just think it would be great to have another way to be notified.