For a first-time project this is pretty impressive - Arduino forum member Apolikamixitos has published details of his open-source Facebook status notifier. It will alert you to new messages, notifications or friend requests using Facebook PHP code and Tinkerproxy. Although it uses LEDs for notification, you could easily create motorised devices, sound effects or other devices to get your attention. In the following video you can see a full run-down of operation:
If you're looking to make your own notifier, consider our Freetronics RGBLED: full colour module. It includes a bright RGB LED on the top of the board and a WS2801 constant-current, addressable, multi-channel LED driver on the back. This smart module can be daisy-chained, so you can connect a number of these together in a string and drive each of the module colours individually from your microcontroller. For more information and to order, visit the product page.