Most Orchard shapes get created from part drivers, but they are a lot more versatile than that. They can actually be created from pretty much anywhere, including from templates. One example can be found in the Layout.cshtml file of the ThemeMachine theme:
What this is really doing is create a new shape called BadgeOfHonor and injecting it into the Footer global zone (that has not yet been defined, which in itself is quite awesome) with an ordering rank of "5".
A year ago, I wrote a scary post about RSS in Orchard. RSS was one of the first features we implemented in our CMS, and it has stood the test of time rather well, but the post was explaining things at a level that was probably too abstract whereas my readers were expecting something a little more practical.