How can I make a skype/email/ect notification board?

How would I be able to make a board that will light up and notifies whenever I get a skype message, email, email, perhaps when a torrent finishes, Facebook notifications, and perhaps anything else (ideas are welcome)? I'd like to use l.e.d's, but I am not sure how to wire it up (or any circuitry for that matter) would anyone have any ideas for this? Thanks in advance!