In the most technical words, the Virtual Observatory (VO) is an effort to enable uniform and efficient access to astronomical data. With more glitz, it is like the Web and Google, only for data. In this talk I will try to convince you that what sounds tedious and boring in reality is exciting and useful to your research. Thus, after some motivation filling in the gaps in the above definitions, I will go on describing some of the key VO technologies and ways to use them – right now, from your desktop. I will close with an invitation to publish your data to the VO as well.
Slides available at http://docs.g-vo.org/er.pdf.