Alas, it looks as if Google's latest feature may be the death knell that kills off some of my favorite Orkut hacks such as Orkut Alert.
Called Scraps Alert, this handy feature will inform users whenever a friend (or stranger) posts a message inside your scrapbook.
(Official Orkut Blog) With scrap alerts you can be on any orkut page and find out that you have received a scrap - that very minute. You could be browsing your friend's photos, and find out "hey! I just got a new scrap." Then you can click on the "Scrapbook" link to reply on the spot. This way you'll be free to explore all of orkut, comforted in the knowledge that when you have received a new scrap, you'll know about it that moment.
Google is quickly rolling this feature out to all of its users over the next few days, so if you do not see it now, chances are you will discover it by the beginning of next week.
My only complaint about the feature is that its colors clash with Orkut's blue background, making it an eyesore.
Hopefully someone from Google will rethink the Scrap Alert's color scheme, or better yet allow users to customize their own.
Note: When is Google going to do something similar for forums? (hint, hint)