Firstly, take a look at my site http://www.damosoft.co.uk well actually now I've said that, you wont be able to see the sections I want to show without a client status login. Anyway, I use TikiWiki to manage all my development work, which also includes the use of w.Bloggar and tiki's Blogs! You have got my attension on this post for the simple reason I've never ever thought before about having a blog post send out a mail notification. Take a peek at BlogDev, I've adopted the blog development work for Tiki because its not really upto the usual blogging standard. I could certainly add a new mail event for you quite easily and supply you with a patch or the patched files.
With the side problem, i'm unsure :/ Unless it was linked into the tiki newsletters feature of course!