In reply to:...
James, you're absolutely right.
A guiding principle of the indieweb is to write on your own site and it gets pushed to where it’s needed; we have the distinction between the types of webmention to control this: straight mention, like, reply, etc. The impact is obviously limited by the support for webmentions (or lack thereof) but the intention is that replies or comments are "your own" as much as original posts.
As you said, hitting publish is about sharing - sharing ones words or even oneself - it is, therefore, predicated on some kind of audience even if that is just an audience of one.
The problem we can face (at least I can) is defining that audience when we write: it's another distinction between 'big B blogging' (open audience) and 'small b blogging' (restricted audience.)
Over the years I think bloggers have gotten used to acting like the news sites - I've historically written like a journalist rather than a person and have been trying to rein that in over the past couple of years.
It's like there's a psychological shift required in writing for a small b audience when knowing that it is visible by more. Maybe it's a reluctance to exclude some readers, as though they're overhearing a private conversation and shouldn't really be paying attention. As you say: "writing publicly incentivizes accessibility for the broadest possible audience."
So, maybe this is where the indieweb approach comes into play and has a double impact. Not only does the type of mention dictate how a "response" is treated on the target site but it gives a visual indicator on your own site for the wider audience to better understand the scope of a post, e.g. "In reply to:"
The indieweb is a frame of mind as well as a technological approach. I need to get better at this, at being more informal and conversational when the situation calls for it.