As a new arrival to social media (especially Twitter), I sometimes find the amount of information available via these channels to be overwhelming that I either end up drowning in the morass of data or, in frustration, I just switch it off. I find Twitter is a major culprit in this area especially if you try to use hashtags (the words you see prefixed with a # symbol i.e. #azure or #ruby) to follow topics and even more so when people start repeating, or retweeting as they call it, such that you see the same data repeated over and over again.
Thankfully Twitter has actually thought about this, though information is rather scarce. If you go to http://twitter.com/search and keep hitting refresh you get a few useful tips. You can try advanced search (http://search.twitter.com/advanced – though I can never find this link on the main site and instead I have to use google) to get an idea of just what is possible. However if you use a twitter client on your desktop or your phone then this is a bit tiresome. You could try the operators, see http://search.twitter.com/operators. But again nothing immediately obvious until you remember that a lot of the retweets are normally prefixed with a RT or VIA (an alternative way to retweet) and notice that Twitter have supplied an exclude option via the minus(-) operator.
Thus armed you can prune the retweets by adding -rt (and also -via) to your searches and remove all the repeated twitterings e.g. to search for all tweets that have been tagged with azure or cloud but to ignore the repeats I would use: #azure OR #cloud -rt -via
Now the amount of information is reduced and, assuming your search is limited in scope i.e. does not involve a trending topic or major celebrity, manageable.