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Why is it that whenever I get a badge or some comment from Stack Overflow or the DSP Stack Exchange, I get notified by the red balloon, but when I get a similar response on some other branch like ComputerScience then there is no notification?

I don't get many notifications other than from Stack Overflow though.

Example a vote-up here.

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Upvote or downvote on one of our posts does not trigger notification and never did.

Having new answer on our question or comments made on our posts (or when @reply is used) will trigger notification.

Badges will also give notification, but once you have 200 reputation on one site you are considered "Veteran user" and will get notified only on specific set of badges as explained here:

The following bronze badges are considered veteran-worthy:

  • Nice Answer
  • Nice Question
  • Caucus
  • Excavator
  • Mortarboard
  • Popular Question
  • Proofreader
  • Revival
  • Synonymizer
  • Tumbleweed
  • Vox Populi
  • Announcer
  • Precognitive
  • any tag-based bronze badge

All other bronze badges won't give you notification anymore, no matter on what site. (Silver and gold badges will always give notification no matter how much rep you got)

In your specific case I assume you refer to your new Scholar badge.

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    Thanks.... great help :) – noobmaster69 Nov 25 '13 at 9:51

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