What activities actually gain influence in game?
While in a society gaining experience(also after reaching lvl 50) will generate influence to the society.
Sinking ships generates influence. I also sold ships for influence to other players. Fleeters made a shit tonn of influence and were happy to trade it for a rate.
Remember when you are in the Red Zone and Hear Bagpipes in the wind... Its one of two things...either help has arrived or all hell is about to be unleashed.